A Helenium of a Different Color

By National Gardening Association Editors

Helenium, also known as sneezeweed, has long been a favorite for adding color to the late season garden. The daisy-like flowers with raised centers bloom in autumnal shades of orange, red, russet and yellow.

Now breeders have developed another color, giving these easy-care perennials an even broader appeal. New from Walters Gardens this spring is Helenium 'Red Jewel'. Tight clusters of small, dusky-red flowers with a hint of blue cover the plant from midsummer to early fall and are attractive to butterflies. Unlike other heleniums, the flowers of 'Red Jewel' keep a consistent color as they age.

Growing 36" tall and 18-24" wide, 'Red Jewel' prefers full sun and does best in consistently moist soil. Hardy in Zones 4-8, this new helenium would make a nice contrast with a purple-foliaged sedum such as 'Xenox'. Or try it with 'Fireworks' goldenrod, whose airy sprays of yellow flowers would pick up the color 'Red Jewel's flower centers.

For more information on Helenium 'Red Jewel', go to: Perennial Resource.

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