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Common Tall Sunflower

Helianthus nuttallii

Family:

Aster family - Asteraceae

The common tall sunflower, reaching nearly 2 m tall, is adored by birds and insects alike, making it a cheery and ecological addition to gardens.

Meadow or Grassland garden

Meadow / Grassland garden

Pollinator garden

Pollinator garden

Adaptable

Adaptable

Supports wide variety of wildlife

Supports wide variety of wildlife

Late season star

Late season star

Details

Emerges 

May, June

Seed collection

Flowers

August, September

yellow flowers

Yellow

September, October

Lifecycle

Perennial

Lifespan

Height

150

-

180

cm

Width

-

cm

Habit

Forbs

Spreading

Spreading

Herbaceous

Herbaceous

Ecology

Supports

Supports songbirds

Songbirds

Supports bees

Bees

Providing

Provides pollen source

Pollen source

Provides seeds and berries

Seed/Berry source

Native songbirds, especially goldfinches, are partial to the small seeds. Bees and other pollinating insects are attracted to the flowers.

Habitat

Typically found in

prairie, disturbed areas

In the Garden

Growing Conditions

Moisture

Average conditions

Average

Moist conditions

Moist

Wet conditions

Wet

Light

Full sun

Full sun

Soil

Average garden soil

Propagation

Via

Seeds

Seeds

Division

Division

Self-seeding

Self-seeding

Sowing Recommendations

Sow seeds in Spring

Spring planting

High or easy germination

Landscape

Use for:

Back of bed placement

Back of bed

Mass planting

Mass planting

Fall colour

Fall colour

Naturalization

Naturalization

Growing Tips

  • Ideal for covering large areas or as a back-of-bed plant.

  • Self-seeds and spreads, though is easily removed and easy to contain with 15 cm deep edging.

  • Suggested spacing is 60 cm.

  • Staking is recommended in windy areas.

  • Cold stratification in spring may improve germination rates.

Description

Managing to be simultaneously tall and dainty, with narrow leaves spaced along the tall stems and crowned with bright, yellow flowers, this cheery perennial grows to nearly 2 m tall and is a crowd favorite for birds and bees.

It will spread widely if left unchecked and is a durable, prolific plant making it ideal for naturalization projects and large spaces. It's also easily controlled and maintained (easy to grow as well), making it a wonderful addition to any urban garden.

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