A couple of years ago, about this time in summer, on a rack way in the back of my local nursery, I found an interesting plant. It had coarse, willowy leaves, and I think it must hard to be both coarse and willowy. It had healthy foliage and was doing its best in a container so I felt a bit sorry for it and brought it home. Helianthus salicifolius ‘Table Mountain’ sunflower is a cultivar of two native, H. salicifolius so I still consider it a wildflower. From the Missouri Botanical Garden, “It is the result of a controlled cross-pollination that took place in Auckland, New Zealand in 1993 between Helianthus ‘Golden Pyramid’ (female) and Helianthus ‘Autumn Queen’ (male).”
Like all sunflowers and daisies, ‘Table Mountain’ is part of my favorite plant family, Asteraceae. In spite of heat and drought, it blooms steadily each summer. Although it grew in bulk and circumference, it has never spread by seed. I have two plants, and they just hang out in their part of the lower gardens.
The people who measure such things list ‘Table Mountain’ as growing 12-16.” Mine is about two feet in height. It thrives in full sun, and we have plenty of sun each summer. It is drought resistent. It grows in hardiness zones 5-9. It attracts pollinators, no surprise since it sports daisy-like flowers.
My meadow is spreading like my middle-aged waistline. It seems that as the garden and I mature, I am more interested in planting something closer to the prairie, especially as we move downhill from the house. I’ve placed all the roses, up where I can watch them for any symptoms of Rose Rosette Disease. RRD is like a shadow overtaking the rose landscape in my garden and my state. I’m not too worried because, although I love roses, I love so many plants. I just grow what works.
My meadow, unaffected by disease, has spread from one bed to two, maybe three by this summer’s end. Who knows?
Easy to grow, polite and never overreaching, Table Mountain sunflower is a sunny bargain if there ever was. If you went to your local nursery during the summer doldrums, what do you think you would find on that table, way in the back? You just never know.
Gail from Clay and Limestone sponsors Wildflower Wednesday each month. Head over to her site and see what other wildflowers peeps are growing. Maybe you’ll find something you want to grow too.