Friday, October 21, 2016

Viva Max(imilan) Sunflower!

Hello Sunshine!  Last week in my Wildlife Wednesday post I wrote about plants for Monarch butterflies as suggested by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Maximilian Sunflowers were one of five native plants on the list, but weren't blooming in my garden at the time.  Now blooming just in time for Texas Native Plant Week, it's time to share these cheerful blooms.  Helianthus maximiliani are named for Prince Maximilian of Germany, a naturalist who led an expedition into the American West in the 1820s.

Maximilian sunflowers are edible by livestock making them quite popular with deer.  I know because they ate my first planting right down to the ground overnight.  One of my generous readers, Lorelei Stewart Meyer, offered to replace them and now they're planted in our deerproof enclosure along the side yard.  They are prolific reseeders so I can collect the seeds and sow them around sunnier parts of the yard now that we have entirely fenced in the back to keep deer out.

These perennial sunflowers regrow from their roots each spring to bloom just in time for butterfly season making them an easy care addition to my garden.  Oddly, I haven't seen a single butterfly on these flowers as they seem to prefer several other plants in the garden.

Somewhat disappointing that we've had just a few Monarchs through the garden this week.  I'm hoping to see more soon.  Fortunately the Sunflowers will keep blooming until frost arrives near the end of November.


  1. I think all the butterflies are at WFSC! I was there this morning and couldn't believe how many are swarming the milkweed and mist flowers. Maybe we can plant some Maximillian Daisies there!

  2. That is a beautiful sunflower! Since we haven't had frost yet (can't believe it!) here in S. Wisconsin, there still are a few blooming sunflowers here and there, and other nectar sources. I wonder if that will contribute to increased numbers of monarchs in the late migration. From your Facebook post, it sounds like the monarchs are more plentiful in San Antonio since this post? That is good news! :)


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