Helianthus bolanderi

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5a -15º to -20ºF

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Helianthus bolanderi

Serpentine Sunflower or Bolander’s Sunflower. Who doesn’t like sunflowers? I don’t know about you but they make me smile. There are several native sunflowers but this one is the cream of the crop. Native to extreme S. Oregon and extreme N. California this wonderful plant shines on the most difficult soils. Known as Serpentine Sunflower – Serpentine soil is a special substrate full of heavy metals- zinc, iron, copper. It prevents many plants from growing. These conditions are widespread in Southern Oregon into California, where this soil reaches the surface it produces zones of very specialized plants- they LOVE the harsh conditions and poor nutrients and tolerate the toxic elements. It can be quite a transition in plant communities from normal soil to serpentine- in just a few steps. This lovely annual sunflower though is EASY to grow in average to enriched soil- It handles just about everything so long as there is full sun. To 3′ tall and forming multiple spikes of 3″ electric yellow flowers with a contrasting black center. Amazing cut flower and if you remove flowers it will encourage more . Nice long stems for summer bouquets- they appear floppy but are in fact wiry and stiff- perfect for arranging.  And a pollinator madhouse. Blooms June- October- one of our longest blooming native annuals. Forms a multibranched plant with shining flowers sticking out in all directions.  Light consistent irrigation in summer. Makes a fantastic hedge of flowers. Re-seeds in open disturbed sites. Moderate deer resistance. Easy to grow. Oregon native plant.

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