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Helianthus annuus 'Velvet Queen'

Sunflower

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Key information

Plant type

Half-hardy annual

Flower colour

Red

Feature

Flowers, Attractive to wildlife

Hardiness

Half hardy

Skill level

Beginner

photo by bbc.co.uk/gardening

Plant details

Sunflowers have changed almost beyond recognition, from being tall coarse plants with a single enormous yellow flower with edible seeds on a thick robust stem, to branching plants for decorating the back of the border, supplying cut flowers and even creating informal summer hedges. Gorgeous colours have been introduced, as in 'Velvet Queen', a freely branching variety with handsome 15cm (6in) heads in an opulent shade of rich crimson. They make excellent cut flowers if gathered just before they are fully open. Alternatively leave them on the plant for the birds to enjoy the seed-heads that follow.

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Helianthus

Species: annuus

Cultivar: Velvet Queen

Plant type: Half-hardy annual

Flower colour: Red

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Moist

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 180cm

Spread: 120cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

Flowering period: June to August


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