Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Maximilian Sunflower
Give a thumbs up Prairie Sunflower

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9a
Plant Height: 36 - 120 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 24 inches
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 30 days at 40 degrees
Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Other info: This plant self seeds.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Butterfly Magnet

Photo gallery:

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Posted by MotherRaphaela (Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY: (Otego) - Zone 4b) on Sep 9, 2014 2:39 PM

This sunflower was growing around the old (1810) farmhouse when we moved in. It is very reliable and very cheerful. Sometimes it survives as a cut flower, but it is chancy. It fights it out with mint every summer and the battle seems to be a draw. It could become invasive, but the roots are close to the surface of the ground and pull out easily. It's hard to see how anyone would want to get rid of it!

I'm not sure I have it in the right place, though, so if someone sees my photo and can tell me where else it might belong, I'll be most grateful.

Mother Raphaela

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Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Jul 29, 2015 9:56 AM

I planted these for several reasons: Native to the US, not an annual, a lively spreader, and a natural food source for the birds. The Goldfinches just relish those greens and later the seeds as they dry. I have been concerned by the amount of pesticides put on bird food to prevent meal moths and the like. The birds get that in their mouths and we become exposed to it when we handle the seed.

Mine tend to bloom early, starting in July, but others wait until late August into September. The plant spreads mostly by rhizomes, but I have found a few from germinated seeds in other locations. It has not become bothersome in any way.

One of my children's opinion of this small sunflower, "It smells like candy."

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Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Dec 18, 2011 11:27 PM

An Illinois wildflower native to western US; grows best in prairie, edges of woods, and roadsides..
Forms colonies as it's capable of self seeding. Flower heads up to 3.5 inches.
This year, was a super butterfly magnet (as illustrated).

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Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Apr 12, 2012 4:41 PM

This page says summer better than any other I've seen.

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Plant Events from our members
Weedwhacker On February 7, 2015 Seeds sown
lovesblooms On February 24, 2018 Seeds sown
winter sown
lovesblooms On February 28, 2015 Seeds sown
winter sown
MrsBinWY On July 14, 2017 Potted up
MrsBinWY On March 10, 2017 Seeds sown
started 16 seeds from molanic
MrsBinWY On February 3, 2017 Seeds sown
baggy in fridge 5 weeks, from olya me (might be all chaff); moved to room temp 3-10-17 - zero germination
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Feels like summer by eclayne Apr 13, 2012 9:21 AM 1
That's a really pretty sunflower by CDsSister Oct 1, 2012 8:18 PM 2
I am not sure if this is a member of the helianthus or rudbeckia family by dragonlace Oct 2, 2019 11:50 AM 3
Zone 5b: recommendations for flowers that bloom in late summer, early fall? by joannakat Aug 16, 2019 9:16 PM 19
Has anyone renovated their entire yard? by SkipNJ Jan 15, 2018 1:11 PM 15
Is this a perennial sunflower? by Kabby Sep 29, 2017 7:44 AM 3
This was given to us, but I have no idea what it is by nestof3 Oct 9, 2017 3:38 PM 22
Sunflowers for Dummies by Garden10 May 15, 2017 6:32 PM 149
New and thistles by upat5 Jun 10, 2016 4:30 PM 56
Banner for December 6, 2015 by Paul2032 by Paul2032 Dec 6, 2015 11:27 AM 7
Utah Wildflower by kidfishing Oct 7, 2015 7:50 PM 9
Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) by elizbe Jul 17, 2015 11:12 AM 4

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