False or Early Sunflower

False or Early Sunflower

Botanical Name: Heliopsis helianthoides

Height: about 1 m

Season of bloom: Late July into September

Growing Conditions: Light shade or part shade. Adaptable and easy.

Wildlife benefits: Again, I am quoting from Illinois Wildflowers: “The nectar and pollen of the flowerheads attract a wide variety of insects, including honeybees, bumblebees, little carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), digger bees (Melissodes spp.), cuckoo bees (Coelioxys spp., Triepeolus spp.), leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.), Halictid bees (Agapostemon spp., Lasioglossum spp.), Andrenid bees (Andrena spp., Heterosarus spp.), thread-waisted wasps (Ammophila spp.) and other wasps, Syrphid flies (Eristalis spp., Toxomerus spp.), bee flies (Exoprosopa spp.), the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylanicus) and other beetles, Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa spp.) and other butterflies, and skippers (Robertson, 1929).”

From Ottawa Valley or eastern Ontario sources: Ye-e-s. Original seed collected in a remotish part of the Pontiac, but the plant might have been a cottage garden escapee.

Seed: Germination Code: C(60). Two months cold, moist stratification. Or, of course, a natural winter.

Remarks: The ease of cultivation and long blooming period have made this a popular choice in country gardens.

Similar species: Tall Sunflower.

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