A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Cheerful Sunflower, Morning Sun Sunflower
Helianthus x laetiflorus (H. scaberrimus)
Full sun; medium to moderately dry moisture level; adapts to a wide range of soils including loamy, sandy loam and clay but does best on a soil that is not too rich; neutral to alkaline pH. 4-8 feet height (usually 6-8 feet); blooms in late summer; yellow flowers; spreads rapidly by rhizomes and can become weedy.
Germination Code: C(30)
Native Region: Limited to 14 counties scattered across the state
One of the largest and showiest of all the native sunflowers. Tall, spreading, bushy plant with deep yellow blooms that can be 4-5 inches across. May require some support, especially if given fertilizer and extra moisture. Easy to grow. It is a naturally occurring hybrid of two other native species of sunflower – H. pauciflorus and H. tuberosus. Attracts many bees and butterflies.
Most plants available commercially are the cultivar ‘Lemon Queen’. It has soft, clear, lemon yellow flowers, is extra floriferous, has a slightly smaller stature, and is slightly less aggressive. It still retains the high wildlife benefits of the species.