If you’re looking for late-season color and have room for a super-sized perennial, Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) is worth considering. It generally blooms here (southeastern PA) in October, starting just as sawtooth sunflower (H. grosseserratus) is finishing. The two species look similar, with single, bright yellow, daisy-form flowers, but Maximilian sunflower has grayish green leaves. It can easily reach to 8 feet or even more by bloom time, particularly in rich, moist soil. (I tried cutting my plants back by about a third in July to control their height, but they still reached about 7 feet tall.) I expect they would be somewhat shorter and likely much sturdier in drier conditions they are naturally adapted to. The plants spread by rhizomes to form broad patches. Their proportions make them best suited to large gardens or meadow plantings. Like other perennial sunflowers, the flowers of this species are a marvelous pollen and nectar source for a wide range of insect visitors, and birds adore the seeds. (My goldfinches haunt the plants and eat most of the seeds before I can get them!) Native to central North America. Full sun. Perennial; Zones 3 to 9.
Collected in mid October 2022. At least 15 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.