Hybridizing became popular in the nineteenth century, especially when growers sought new plants for the…
Our native sunflower is one of my favorite flowers.
It comprises the genus Helianthus, which contains about 60 species, including our popular H. Annuus that belong to the family Compositae.
When I heard about a local field of sunflowers I could visit, I had to go and see them.
The site was the Coppal House Farm, located in Lee, New Hampshire.
By the time I arrived last week the major fields of the flower had already gone by. They told me the best time is the end of July and early August. Coppal sponsors a Sunflower Fair at that time.
To my surprise I was able to see a small field, still filled with this flower. [below] So happy about that.
What is it about sunflowers I like? The height, the bright flower color, and the size of the flower would just about answer that question.
Long History of Sunflowers
L. H. Bailey writes in his The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture (1901), “the sunflower has come down to us unchanged from ancient times, and existed in cultivation in pre-Columbian America. It was grown at Madrid and described by Dodonaeus as early as 1567.”
It is truly marvelous that we can still appreciate a plant for the garden with such a long history.