When I first got this plant I thought it was a variety of coreopsis or rudbeckia. I didn’t know what to call it. The poor plant had an ID crisis.
I think I should have just called it a traffic stopper. Because that was exactly what it did to me.
I was driving around the neighbourhood when I saw IT. I did a double take, braked and reversed. “What was that?!” I’d never seen anything like that before.
“Beautiful … beautiful,” I kept muttering incoherently. While I stood gaping, my friend went up to the gate, knocked and asked for a plant.
My friend gave me that plant.
What I can’t understand is why the Helianthus Augustifolia isn’t commonly found here. I’ve never seen any garden centre on this side of the causeway sell the plant.
Incidentally, the Helianthus Augustifolia and the illustrious sunflower belong to the same family. The sunflower may be the more famous of the two, but it is the Helianthus Augustifolia that gets my vote.
Care and propagation: full sun; well drained soil, water moderately. Tall stems need to be staked. Check regularly for mealy bugs.
Propagate by division or by using basal root cuttings. Can be sown from seeds; unfortunately I deadhead spent flowers.