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Helianthus debilis (Branching sunflower)

Helianthus debilis and cvs. Helianthus debilis 'Key Lime Pie' Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Thompson & Morgan Seedsmen, Inc.


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Botanical Name: Helianthus debilis Common Name: Branching sunflower Genus: Helianthus
These branching plants with thick stems and glossy mid-green leaves grow 5 to 6 feet tall. Slightly nodding flowerheads 2.5 inches or more across appear in summer. Bright yellow ray florets are sometimes flushed with red or purple-red disk florets.
Noteworthy characteristics: Cultivars include ‘Italian White’, a graceful plant with 4-inch ivory-white daisies shading to buttery cream near their striking black centers; ‘Lemon Queen’, a pale yellow cultivar accented by a large brown center; ‘Velvet Queen’, well branched from a strong stalk, with dark burgundy petals and a black central disk; ‘Sole d’Oro’, a double-flowering form with a fluffy butter-yellow head; and ‘Stella’, a branching plant with golden petals and a maroon center.
Care: Tall cultivars may require support. Needs long, hot summers to flower well. Grow in moist but well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil.
Propagation: Sow seed in situ in spring or in pots in late winter.
Problems: Downy mildew, powdery mildew, canker, rust, and many fungal leaf spots are common. Also susceptible to damage from caterpillars, cutworms, beetles, and weevils.
Height 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Medium Moisture
Characteristics Attracts Birds; Native; Showy Flowers
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color White Flower; Yellow Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Cut Flower
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Annuals

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