... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Helianthus tuberosus X 'Red Sun' sunflower

The F1 hybrid perennial sunflower from Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) X 'Red Sun' sunflower started blooming about two weeks ago. In the first picture you can see the Jerusalem Artichoke mama (the left half of the row, right next to the charcoal barrel "retort") and the right half is the F1 hybrid. The second picture shows the Jerusalem Artichoke in the foreground with no flowerbuds even deep down in the whorls of leaves; the F1 hybrid is in the background. The last picture is a bloom close-up of the hybrid. It's about 5 or 6 feet tall right now. The Jerusalem Artichoke is slightly shorter but I think will eventually get taller than the hybrid. So in spite of it being completely sterile from what I've seen so far, the hybrid may have value as a tall border plant because it is more compact; earlier and longer-blooming; and doesn't spread quite so invasively.

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