Update on My Giant Sunflower

| 9/8/2011 3:32:38 PM

Suddenly last week – and I do mean suddenly, as in overnight – my enormous backyard sunflower plant did two things at once. First, it drooped over and lost its stature as the tallest non-tree plant in my neighborhood. And immediately thereafter, it exploded.

OK, it might have taken another day. But within hours, the plant had gone from having a few lonely sunflowers at the very top where no one could see them, to being this sunflower extravaganza:

 Lemon Queen Sunflower Forest 

I think it got tired of being appreciated only for its height and decided to bend over and show me what else it could do. And now I know the identity of this amazing plant. It is indeed the ‘Lemon Queen’ variety handed out by our friends at Your Garden Show, as part of their citizen science project to track bees.

I haven’t seen any bees, but man, do I have some blossoms. And I don’t think you could find a more heat-and-drought tolerant flowering plant anywhere. As you can see, it’s a forest of flowers.

So, that offer of seeds – if the birds don’t get to all of them first – still stands.

K.C. Compton
11/28/2011 11:37:32 AM

Hi Mary,I love that you plant sunflower seeds just for the birds. I did that with fennel, back when I actually had a garden (trying to stick to flowers and herbs these days, just due to general busy-ness)just to make sure the swallowtail caterpillars got a nice meal or two. They could strip those fennel plants in a day. And as for these sunflowers, I fear the birds got to them before I could and seem to have eaten every seed. Good for them, not good for sharing. However, this was the Lemon Queen variety from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, so I can definitely vouch for that variety and that company. --KC

Mary Carton
11/27/2011 5:49:16 PM

KC, I usually plant a patch of sunflowers for the birds every year, and didn't get to this year since I blew my knee out in April. I finally had it fixed a couple of weeks ago now that gardening season is over. I usually just throw a hand full from my black oil sunflower bird seeds out and do it a little on the heavy side in case the birds hit it. At the end of the bloom season, I have hoards of goldfinches and blue indigo's around the patch. Next year I'm going to put up a blind so I can take some pictures of them.

Mountain Woman
9/14/2011 10:45:33 AM

Wow, it sure is amazing and I personally would LOVE to have seeds.

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