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Helianthus Orygalis - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Helianthus Orygalis - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Helianthus Orygalis Described.

Helianthus Orygalis - Helianthus Orygalis.
Graceful Sunflower; Nat. Ord. Compositæ.

Yet another Sunflower, and one, too, of the common yellow colour, and not otherwise attractive, as may be seen by the illustration—of course, I am now referring to the flower only. There are, however, features about this species which all must admire; stems 7ft. high, furnished with bright foliage, in the manner indicated, are not mean objects, even if topped with but a common yellow composite. This is a native of North America, and of recent introduction; it is a distinct species, and for foliage a prince among its fellows. I know not another to nearly approach it, H. angustifolius being perhaps the nearest, but that species has never with me proved of more than a biennial character, and its leaves, though long and narrow, are irregular and herby.

The flowers need not be further described beyond saying that they are borne on short side shoots, near the top of the main stems, but they harmonise with the general arrangement of foliage, and, indeed, from their bract-like leafiness, somewhat enrich it. This is one of the latest-blooming Sunflowers. The leaves are 5in. to 8in. long, and ½in. to 1in. wide, the lower half on the stems droop, though they are of good substance; the upper half bend gracefully, and, from their close arrangement, all but hide the stem. At the axils of the larger leaves, tufts of smaller (much smaller) leaves appear, causing the long stems to be top-heavy. Still, they wave and bend during the strongest winds without supports or damage. It will be seen that the usefulness of this plant consists in its distinct form and tallness, and that it is effective is without doubt. Among low shrubs, or with other tall things, will prove suitable quarters for it.

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Helianthus Orygalis

Any kind of soil will do, shelter from the wind being the most important, and perhaps the only point to study when planting. It is propagated by root divisions when the tops have withered.

Flowering period, September and October.

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