Mexican Sunflower, Tithonia speciosa
|Tall, bushy plants from the Daisy family, they resemble small Sunflowers, but have a distinctively clublike stem swelling to the flower base. Brilliant yellow, orange or red rays surround the disk florets. A deliciously soft velvet covers new growth, becomming felt-like on mature leaves. Butterflies love the nectar, especially in fall. Good as a screen or background plant, their drought-tolerance serves them well in desert gardens. Excellent cut flowers. Most are annuals, and will not survive northern winters. Cultivars of the 6-foot Tithonia rotundifolia grow smaller, with bigger, brighter flowers. Give them plenty of space, warmth and sun, and well-drained, low-fertility soil. If soil is too rich, they grow more foliage and fewer flowers. Water in dry spells. Stake to prevent wind or storm damage. Deadhead promptly. Sow directly in the garden, or transplant seedlings.
Look for many cultivars in different heights and flower colors. 'Torch' reaches 5 feet, and makes a fine bushy hedge.
Attributes - Tithonia rotundifolia
Plant Type: Annual
Bloom Season: Early Fall through Mid Fall
Flower Color: Orange, Red
Height: 6 ft. to 12 ft.
Width: 2 ft. 6 in.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Notes: Thrives in Dry Climates, Hot Climates. Cut Flowers, Drought Tolerant, Showy Flowers.