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Helianthus mollis 'Downy Sunflower'

Helianthus mollis 'Downy Sunflower'

Regular price $7.00 USD
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Helianthus mollis, also known as downy sunflower is a perennial wildflower in the Aster family (Asteraceae). It is native to the southeastern and central United States and typically grows to be about 3-5 feet tall. The plant produces yellow, daisy-like flowers with dark brown centers in the late summer and fall. Each flower head is about 2-3 inches wide. The leaves are large, lance-shaped and hairy. The plant is also characterized by a thick and woody stem that can be branched or unbranched.

Helianthus mollis prefers well-drained soils with moderate fertility. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils. It can survive in poor rocky-gravel soils as well. It is drought tolerant once established.

In terms of sunlight, Helianthus mollis prefers full sun. It is tolerant of some shade, but it will produce the most flowers and have the best growth in full sun.

An interesting attribute of Helianthus mollis, is its use in traditional medicine. The plant has been used by various indigenous cultures for medicinal purposes. The roots and leaves of the plant were used to make tea that was used to treat various ailments, including fever, colds, and headaches.

The seeds of the plant are a favorite food of birds and small mammals, making it a great option for planting in naturalized areas or in gardens where wildlife is encouraged.

Photo attributions:

Photos 1, 2 & 3: peganum, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


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