Heleniums are much under-rated garden plants. They are a mainstay of the summer and autumn border but are so often overlooked. They are hardy, colourful, easy to grow, tolerate difficult growing conditions, provide months of colour, are attractive to pollinating insects and unaffected by most pests and diseases.
Helenium 'Goldfield' is a modern variety and a tremendous improvement for the Helenium family, far more free flowering than older varieties, the flowers are generally 5cm (2in) wide with a daisy shape and slightly down-turned petals, like bright hula skirts. The large central gold cone is the perfect landing pad for butterflies and bees. It is particularly stunning in autumn when the rich colours shine out in the clear, sharp light.
It is a very heavy-blooming plant, but needs no dead-heading and always looks as though it just opened it first blooms. That's because unlike other Heleniums, it sets its new bloom stems just above the older flowers on the plant, so the new blooms constantly cover up the old. This is especially welcome on a plant so long-blooming and floriferous that it sets hundreds and hundreds of bright yellow-gold daisies in just a single season.
Very adaptable to a variety of soils, including dry conditions, 'Goldfield' is set to bloom all summer and into autumn. The plant reaches a neat 50cm (20in) high and about 40cm (16in) wide, so you can grow it in containers as well as in the sunny annual bed, as edging, or in mass plantings and the blooms are great for cutting. .All it needs is sunshine and well-drained soil.
Sowing: February to June or September to October
This variety will flower the same year from an early sowing giving a spectacular, late summer display. Sow on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 14 to 21 days at 13 to 15°C (55 to 59°F). The compost should be kept slightly moist, but not wet at all times. Do not exclude light at any stage, as this helps germination.
Prick out each seedling as it becomes large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Grow on in cool, well lit conditions. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions before planting out 30cm (12in) apart. Later sowings can be overwintered in a coldframe and planted out the following spring.
Like all daisies, heleniums need a bright, sunny position. They also need moisture-retentive soil, if your soil is light, incorporate organic matter into the planting hole and spread mulch in late spring. Should your heleniums wilt, pour buckets of water gently on to the roots and they will revive.
All heleniums respond to dead-heading so take off any spent flowers as they fade. More will appear.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds. Mass planting, Containers, Bee and wildlife gardens.
There are about 40 species of Helenium in North and Central America.
Helenium amarum is native to much of the south-eastern United States and northern Mexico, and it is present elsewhere in North America as an introduced species.
The genus Helenium is said to be named by Linnaeus after Helen of Troy, according to the legend that these flowers sprang up from the ground where her tears were supposed to have fallen. It is commonly called Helen’s Flower
Helenium amarum is a species of annual herb in the daisy family, the Asteraceae, Amarum means “bitter to the taste”
In the US it is known by the common names yellowdicks, yellow sneezeweed, and bitter sneezeweed.
The common name Sneezeweed is believed to be derived from the former use of the dried leaves to make a snuff. This was inhaled by native Americans to promote sneezing and rid the body of evil spirits.The name sneezeweed, by the way, not only grates on the ear, it is also inaccurate, since heleniums are not in the least allergy-provoking,
- Additional Information
Packet Size 45mg Average Seed Count 150 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 500 seeds per gram Family Asteraceae Genus Helenium Species amarum Cultivar Goldfield Common Name Helens's Flower Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Golden Yellow Natural Flower Time Summer to autumn. Foliage Herbaceous Height 50cm (20in) Spread 40cm (16in) Position Full sun. Soil Very adaptable to a variety of soils, including dry conditions. Time to Sow February to June or September to October. Germination 14 to 21 days at 13 to 15°C (55 to 59°F)