Narrow Leaf Sunflowers of September

Having discovered these showy perennials in a pasture three years ago, I knew they had to be in my garden. Known as Narrow Leaf or “Swamp” Sunflowers, they are the tallest wildflowers I’ve found here in the mountains, with the most flowers. They can grow to eight feet high.

They are in the Aster family, and are actually hundreds of small flowers in a cluster surrounded by yellow petals.

The blossoms will follow the Sun during the day. They have no fragrance to humans, but bees and butterflys love their nectar. Deer prefer to avoid them, thank you very much!

Since growing the first plants from seed two years ago, they are already starting to mutate, producing unusual reddish bands around the center.

The tall stems are reddish brown and the leaves are thin an waxy.

The sunflowers prefer damp well drained soil, which is where they get their name, “Swamp Sunflower”. They frame my home perfectly, and make a welcomed addition every September. By the first frost, they are gone, and I trim them back to ground level, from where they will return in the Spring, but in even larger numbers.

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