September 26, 2018

Remember the Sunflowers

IMG_2344

In the middle of winter, I'll come back to this post.

The Sunflowers in my part of the world were so strikingly beautiful and lush this year ... for several weeks in late August through mid-September. I don't remember this being the case in past years, but maybe I just wasn't as observant then.

monarch 1

Most are faded now, but for several weeks the bright yellows of these giants were favored nectaring stops for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. During several hikes in the area, I came across Maximilian or Prairie Sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani), with prominent bracts behind the flowers and nearly toothless leaves; the very similar Sawtooth Sunflowers (H. grosseserratus), which have slightly more serrated leaves and a hairless stem; Giant Sunflowers (H. giganteus), with dark brown anther appendages on the flowers, and Jerusalem Artichokes (H. tuberosus), with their broader and more textured leaves.

I've included just a few images here. I went a little overboard: If you want to see more, you can click on any image and browse through, or you can visit my Flickr feed.

IMG_2342

bracts

IMG_2361

IMG_2706

IMG_2640

IMG_2186

IMG_2353

IMG_2189

IMG_2295

monarch 2

IMG_2358

I'm linking this post to Gail's Wildflower Wednesday meme over at Clay and Limestone. Thanks for hosting, Gail!

42 comments:

  1. It's a joy to see these, Beth! My biggest disappointment with my summer garden this year was the failure of my sunflower crop. Very few of my seeds germinated and those that did were sad, spindly things. I've no idea what the problem was - late planting, weather or something else entirely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've rarely tried to grow them, although I've always enjoyed them. I think I prefer them in a big prairie, growing naturally among other forbs, grasses, and sedges. I just couldn't believe how dominant and stunningly beautiful they were in the local prairies this year. Every year is different; this year was the Sunflower year at the end of the summer.

      Delete
  2. I have noticed the Helianthus around here are exceptional this year too. In the wildlife area near my house they are the dominate plant flowering now. Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa. I still noticed quite a few during a drive across the southern part of the state today, but they're past prime now. The memory will stick though. They were so flawless and full and bright!

      Delete
  3. Lovely photos, Beth! We chose the same plant today. I have one plant with several stems that I decided to tie up, and am hoping it comes back next year, but does not spread too far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. Someday, if I have a garden with a little more sun, I might try a couple of tall Sunflowers. Last year, I grew a shorter hybrid that worked pretty well. This year, I went with a couple of shorter Mexican Sunflowers that I really love. Too many plants, not enough sunny space. :)

      Delete
  4. Great post Beth. The sunny sunflowers of this post make me happy. We had a lot of sun and hot weather this summer, they definitely loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, we had sun and heat, too, which we always do in the summer. But this year, I think it was the excess rain that really pumped up the Sunflowers at the end of the summer. They were ravishing, truly. :)

      Delete
  5. Cheery, happy sunflowers! Always put a smile on my face. Some sunflower species have finished blooming here and others like Helianthus angustifolius are just beginning extending the sunflower season even longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are nearing the end of the flowering forbs here. Quite a few various bloomers here and there, but it's mostly the plants in the Aster family that are taking center stage now. No frost yet--looks like a couple more weeks. Yay!

      Delete
  6. Such a jolly series of photos. I think sunflowers are rather undervalued as a flower except by the birds and bees. I usually let a few of our tall, native ones grow just for them, but honestly they are looking pretty bad by this time of year. But there are other smaller sunflowers that are just about to start blooming. I'm looking forward to that show as summer winds down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rose. I've always enjoyed Sunflowers, but this year they were really lush and lovely. I think it was just the way the heat, rain, and sun came together at just the right times to pump them up. Really stunning! My photos don't do them justice.

      Delete
  7. Beautiful smiling faces!
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lea. Yes, that's a good way to put it: beautiful smiling faces. :)

      Delete
  8. Such pretty yellow blooms. Whenever you need a dose of summer sunshine, this post will surely do the trick!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winter is just too long up here, Peter. It's a wonderful place to live except for the entire month of February! It's simply a repeat of January, with a little more daylight. I think I need to plaster photos of Sunflowers up around the house in February! ;-)

      Delete
  9. It's wonderful to have a post like this to come back to during the winter. You captured the sun and warmth so beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Loree. The Sunflowers were so amazing. I wish everyone could have seen them. It will be hard to believe they actually bloomed here when the prairies are covered with snow. LOL.

      Delete
  10. Great photos! The second to last is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carla. It's so fascinating to see which plants really shine from year to year!

      Delete
  11. They are such a lovely flower , full of sunshine ! amazing photos too.
    Amanda xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amanda. Yes, they really have an appropriate generic name--silly to say it, but true! :)

      Delete
  12. Gorgeous, sunny beauties for WW! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were so pretty this year, Gail. Thanks, again, for hosting the meme!

      Delete
  13. Who can resist these bright blooms? I love the two photos of swaths of flowers - like a field of sunshine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh, I know I can't resist them, Deb. I took quite a few hikes toward the end of the summer so I could see them again. Just stunning! Thanks.

      Delete
  14. I have never grown sunflowers, but definitely each year brings different flowers to starring roles. Everything is tall purple daisies here now. The verges (where people haven't mowed frantically) are covered in wild daisies <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so fascinating--the shift from year to year of the prominent bloomers--isn't it, Diana? Wild daisies--that sounds lovely, too!

      Delete
  15. I love sunflowers and have several varieties in my garden. Definitely a post to look back on in winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! I have Tithonias in the garden this year. I had some shorter Sunflowers last year and I really enjoyed them, too. If I ever have a sunnier garden, I think I'll add some Helianthus and maybe some Silphiums, too. :)

      Delete
  16. I just got back from the Sunflower State (Kansas) ... your sunflowers are sooo much more beautiful than the vast fields of giant heads there. Interestingly, I saw many monarchs flitting around in many places! Someone said they were migrating through ... a new experience for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh, that must have been wonderful to see, Hollis! We have some prairies here full of hybrid, planted large-headed Sunflowers, too. I actually prefer the smaller, naturally occurring Helianthus that find their spots in random places--not lined up one by one. But to each his own, I guess. I'm glad to hear you saw so many monarchs, though! The experts are saying this year will yield a big count. I had monarchs in the garden non-stop from late May through mid-August, and then sporadically until the cooler weather hit. So I'm not surprised it's a big year. :)

      Delete
  17. Gosh, I'm glad I remembered that I received notification of this post. Those sunflowers make me smile! Your photos are joy-inducing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you're sweet, Tina. :) The Sunflowers certainly made me smile. It was one of those experiences where you wish you could freeze time for a little longer.

      Delete
  18. Glorious, Beautiful, Stunning . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were so pretty this year, Lynne. Now the Asters are blooming and they're so pretty, too!

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. Thanks, Endah. Yes, they were really stars this year. :)

      Delete
  20. Gorgeous photos. The Perennial Sunflowers are so wonderful, though you don't often see them in the home garden. I've tried to grow a few - H. occidentalis, H. mollis - but not with much success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jason. I haven't tried many Sunflowers in the garden either, but I don't have much sun. The Mexican Sunflowers, however, are doing well in the little spots of sun I found for them this year. I think I need to try some Helianthus mixed in with the Tithonias--now that would be colorful!

      Delete
  21. Just lovely! I had planned to have sunflowers in the garden this year and had grown 3 different varieties from seed. Then I made the mistake of planting them just outside of the area surrounded by chicken wire and, you guessed it, one by one the rabbits got to them until there was none. Lesson learned for next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margaret. :) Oh dear, I've had the same issues with rabbits and sunflowers. This year I only grew Mexican Sunflowers...surprise: the rabbits eat them, too! To prevent rabbit damage, I tried so many things this year: chicken wire, potted plants, rabbit repellent, surrounding the plants with repellent plants...you name it. Rabbits certainly complicate gardening efforts!

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by!

Your comment might not appear right away (even though we love you). PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.

ANONYMOUS VISITORS: Security updates mean your comments likely will NOT be published. Sorry. Also, comments with hyperlinks might not make it through the heightened security system.

Have a great gardening day!