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Helianthus nuttallii (Nuttall’s Sunflower)

Nuttall's Sunflower

Helianthus nuttallii, Nuttall's Sunflower, Yellow Flowers, Yellow Perennials

One of the last sunflowers to bloom, Helianthus nuttallii (Nuttall’s Sunflower) is a showy perennial forming a clump of tall and sturdy, green to yellowish or sometimes purplish stems. They boast a profusion of brilliant golden-yellow flowers, 3-4 in. across (7-10 cm), from fall to frost. Each flower features 10-20 yellow rays surrounding a darker center disk. They are an important nectar source for fall migrating monarch butterflies and other pollinators, including bees and moths. Birds, especially Goldfinches, love the small seeds. Opposite on the lower part of the stem, the leaves are alternate higher up, narrowly lanceolate, 2-8 in. long (5-20 cm). Their upper surface is hairless, while their lower surface is rough from short, stiff hairs. Found in moist to wet prairies, meadows, or open spaces, Nuttall’s Sunflower spreads quickly by short but shallow rhizomes, so it is easy to dig out unwanted plants. It is a good choice for a native or pollinator garden, a naturalized area. It is suitable for rain gardens or along streams and ponds. Use as a specimen plant or massed. Give it room to spread, and you will enjoy a profusion of late-season flowers when little else is blooming.

  • Typically grows up to 3-8 ft. tall (90-240 cm). May need staking, particularly if grown in exposed locations.
  • Performs best in full sun in moist to occasionally wet, well-drained soils. Prefers loamy or clay soils. Grows poorly in sandy soils.
  • Low maintenance, this is an excellent choice for wildflower gardens, prairies, meadows, butterfly gardens, along ponds and streams.
  • Propagated by seed.
  • Native to northern, central, and western North America.

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous Sunflowers


Cherished for their beauty, Sunflowers (Helianthus) are striking ornamental annuals or perennial plants grown for their colorful summer and fall blooms. Fast-growing, they can reward you with glamorous blooms between 55 and 100 days after planting. Here are some basic rules that need to be followed to enjoy their splendid flowers.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Helianthus
Common names Sunflower
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Fall
Height 3' - 8'
(90cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, North Dakota, Midwest, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Washington, Southwest, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Helianthus annuus ProCut® White Nite (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ProCut® Red (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Sunrich Summer Provence’ (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Sunrich Gold’ (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Sunny Smile’ (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Velvet Queen’ (Common Sunflower)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

How to Choose the Perfect Sunflower for Your garden and Pots
10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Sunflowers in Your Garden
Companion Planting With Annuals
Edible Flowers: 16 Varieties to Beautify Your Garden and Plate
Best Annual Flowers For Your Vegetable Garden
Best Annual Flowers and Plants for Full Sun
Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous Sunflowers
39 Most Beautiful Sunflower Types for Your Garden
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Helianthus
Common names Sunflower
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Fall
Height 3' - 8'
(90cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, North Dakota, Midwest, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Washington, Southwest, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Helianthus (Sunflower)
Not sure which Helianthus (Sunflower) to pick?
Compare Now

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