Botanical Name: Helianthus hybrids
Common Names: Perennial Sunflower,Helianthus maximliani (Maximilian sunflower), Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke), Helianthus pauciflorus (Stiff sunflower).
Habitat:: Helianthus species are native to North America except for three species in South America. It grows on Cold to semi-arid regions.
Helianthus hybrids is a perennial plant , growing to 3.6 m (11ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a fast rate. The plant has an erect rough-hairy stem. The tallest sunflower on record achieved 9.17 m (30 ft 1 in). Sunflower leaves are broad, coarsely toothed, rough and mostly alternate; those near the bottom are largest and commonly heart-shaped. The plant flowers from June to September. What is often called the “flower” of the sunflower is actually a “flower head” (pseudanthium), 7.5–12.5 centimetres (3–5 in) wide, of numerous small individual five-petaled flowers (“florets”). The outer flowers, which resemble petals, are called ray flowers. Each “petal” consists of a ligule composed of fused petals of an asymmetrical ray flower. They are sexually sterile and may be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The spirally arranged flowers in the center of the head are called disk flowers. These mature into fruit (sunflower “seeds”).
Climate: boreal to warm temperate. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. Carbon Farming Solutions – Cultivation: under development. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) . Perennial crops are being developed for their oil-seed. The Land Institute see them as part of a perennial polyculture system . Several perennial sunflowers are being worked with including prairie natives handling boreal to warm temperate semi-arid conditions: Helianthus maximliani (Maximilian sunflower), Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke), Helianthus pauciflorus (Stiff sunflower). Less tolerant of boreal conditions but good on poor soils is Helianthus cusickii ( Cusick’s sunflower)
Helianthus counts numerous varieties, some of which are “dwarf” varieties. These can easily be grown in pots indoors. They will flower within a year and seeds can be sown again for more potted wonders!
Water when the soil is dry in the surface (just brush your fingers across it and if it feels dry, add water).
Feed with fertilizer every fortnight in summer, but stop feeding in winter.
Give it proper light, but don’t set it near sources of heat that would dry the air around it too much.
Propagation: Through Seeds.
Edible Uses: . Perennial crops are being developed for their oil-seed. The Land Institute see them as part of a perennial polyculture system.
Medicinal Uses: Helianthus hybrids Various medicinal qualities depending on the species. It is use in ethnomedicine for treating a number of disease conditions which include heart disease, bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, coughs and colds and in whooping cough.
Biomass Oil. Some sunflowers are a good source of biomass. The tubers are used in industry to make alcohol etc. The alcohol fermented from the tubers is said to be of better quality than that from sugar beets. Can be grown as a temporary summer screen. Ornamental. A food plants for the larvae of many lepidopterans.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.