Maximilian Sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani
Native to the Tallgrass prairie, the perennial Maximilian Sunflower blooms from August to October, and comes back thicker every year. It spreads from rhizomes and seeds, and in all its glory reaches 4 to 6 feet tall. Its rich, deep green circular colonies are quite distinct and beautiful, even when they're not in flower. Three inch yellow flower heads bloom up and down the stalks of these plants all at once.

Plant this sunflower along a fence or the side of a building, as a hedge. If you prune them back to about 18 inches or 2 feet in late May, it will encourage a thicker clump. They will make a mound of green foliage all summer, and then shoot up late in the season producing masses of big yellow blooms. Monarch butterflies will flock to this one! The nectar and seeds of the Maximilian Sunflower make it useful in wildlife habitat restoration, and we predict it will be one of your favorites!
Can you tell the difference between Common Sunflower & Maximilian Sunflower (above)? Take a close look at the bottom of the blooms. Maximilian is on the right with the thin string like bottom.
Butterfly photo by Carol Clark
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