Fall Color in South Florida – Bolivian Sunflowers

The Sunflower Hedge

The Sunflower Hedge

I have been noticing these plants for the past few years and it always seems weird to me to associate Sunflowers with November. Gigantic Sunflower Shrubs, at that. I also assumed incorrectly they were some sort of Helianthus. Not the case, this is a Tithonia, Tithonia diversifolia – the Bolivian Sunflower. In another perversity of plant naming, the Bolivian Sunflower is native to Mexico and Central America. I am fairly certain Bolivia is in South America.The name Mexican Sunflower is already taken for a smaller perennial.

One of my neighbors has a hedge of Bolivian Sunflowers screening the yard. This Sunflower hedge is at least 12 tall and in full bloom right now. This plant grows Spring and Summer and blooms all Fall and Winter. It has just really started blooming in earnest and should continue for a couple of months. Another one of those kooky benefits of living in South Florida, Sunflowers all winter.

Since the possible 16′ tall shrub bears 6″ flowers profusely, I am imagining it can put out quite a few seeds and become a problem. I am not sure I would try a hedge, but maybe one or two to screen a view where the lawnmower will run over any nearby seedlings. One has to practice selective lawn mower placement of plants here if there is any question of overabundance. No frost means nothing ever dies. Or anything you want gone refuses to die.

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2 comments on “Fall Color in South Florida – Bolivian Sunflowers

  1. That’s an amazing plant. Do its flowers really resemble the popular sunflower we know in North America?

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    • Tithonias look like old fashioned Single Chrysanthemums to me. Not so much like Sunflowers with the brown center. This one is about 6″ across with a yellow center.

      I will post a picture of the flower when I go by the hedge again.

      Liked by 1 person

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