MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Helenium From the Butchart Gardens



I spotted these huge masses of bright, cheerful flowers while touring the famous Butchart gardens on Canada's Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  Each branched stem was 3-5 feet tall and covered in dozens of flowers 2 -3 inches in diameter. Helenium sneezeweed. What a name! I sniffed the flowers.  Later, I learned that not the flowers, but its dry leaves were once commonly used by Native Americans to make snuff. It is native to North America, but got popular among its gardeners only after breeders in Europe came with  its nice varieties. Gold, rust, orange, yellow, mahogany, orange-red, copper-red - these are the shades Helenium's flowers come in. The brown button on the top is like a cherry on top of a cake!


Helenium blooms from late summer to September (August to November according to some sources) and, they say, it can rebloom.
In the mixed perennial border in the Butchart Sunken Garden, Helenium looked gorgeous, blended with other late-blooming plants and grasses.
Helenium  is not difficult to grow. It loves full sun, fertile soil, can tolerate some moisture (another name of it is swamp sunflower).
USDA zones 3 - 10.

P.S. Some sources say that Helenium autumnale L.(bitterweed, common sneezeweed, false sunflower) can be weedy or invasive.

***Copyright 2012 TatyanaS

20 comments:

  1. I have had a cluster of three over the last couple years, have had to pull out a couple because of Aster yellows, a disease spread by leafhoppers. I love the various colors of this beautiful flower. May plant more next year, in a different location, maybe the leafhoppers won't find it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet! Yellow is not my favorite color, but I like that brown button! I hope those leafhoppers pack their suitcases and move away!

      Delete
  2. That's an interesting flower. Different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadun, they look funny, especially the yellow ones!

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  3. A splash of colour! Beautiful unique shape of flowers. I might try it in our garden, in the not too swampy part that gets the most sun. Thanks for telling me about this fower!
    Bye,
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marian! They look especially good in masses!

      Delete
  4. Wow, that third one i love best. Even at the stage of dehiscence the expert photographer Tatyana can still enhance their beauty, in the first photo. Lovely sights.

    ReplyDelete
  5. wonderful flowers, love the last photo especially where it is teamed with yellow and lime green coloured euphorbia. The colour range is the same as pokers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. catmint, I agree, designers did a great job developing a color scheme.

      Delete
  6. How beautiful they are Tatyana! Mine are sadly gone now along with everything else. Have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lona, these are August pictures. They are gone there, too...

      Delete
  7. Beautiful the Helenium flowers, I had them years ago in my garden, but they have gone despite of not being a difficult perennial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janneke, I never had them in my garden.

      Delete
  8. Very nice. Not of my color scheme but still lovely in other gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, I like their shape more than color.

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  9. Very pretty--I've always liked Helenium. I like your description of a cake with a cherry on the top!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PlantPostings, thank you! Now, I crave for a real cake!

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  10. I love our Helenium. I've never noticed it becoming invasive, that's for sure. It's certainly a great fall flower.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Helenium is quite popular around here. They are very pretty. I never knew the history behind the name though!

    ReplyDelete

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