Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Sneezeweed" Really?

'Sahin's Early Flowerer'

One of my favorite plants in any garden is Helenium, or more commonly known as sneezeweed. Looking a bit like miniature sunflowers, heleniums, or sneezeweed, are bright and cheerful perennials in shades of gold, rust, orange, and red. The name sneezeweed was given because the leaves were once commonly used to make snuff.

One variety I have pictured here, called 'Sahin's Early Flowerer', was given the Award of Garden Merit in 2001 by the Royal Horticultural Society. It grows to a height of about 36", its flowers are a blend of deep red, to yellow and gold, with a brown and yellow cone. If you watch the cone through the bloom it too will slowly open up and change color. They are deer resistant, have a long bloom time and are native plants. I love these color combinations when they bloom from midsummer to fall. Other varieties can flower with stronger reds like 'Red Army' to a double yellow called 'Double Trouble'. I took these the  'Sahin's Early Flowerer'  photos a few years ago in the Chicago Botanic Garden trial garden on July 24th. The 'Wyndley' was from my yard taken on June 27th. As you can see the 'Wyndley' has more yellow with just a hint of red.
'Sahin's Early Flowerer'

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