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Helianthus giganteus - L.

Common Name Giant Sunflower
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp or rich thickets, swampy woods and clearings[43].
Range N. America - Maine and Ontario to Saskatchewan, Florida, Louisiana and Colorado.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Helianthus giganteus Giant Sunflower


Helianthus giganteus Giant Sunflower
Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Barnes, T.G., and S.W. Francis. 2004. Wildflowers and ferns of Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky.

 

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Summary

Note: Helianthus giganteus var. subtuberosus Britton is a synonym of Helianthus giganteus L.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Helianthus giganteus is a PERENNIAL growing to 3.6 m (11ft 10in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from September to October, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

H. altissimus. H. decapitalus sulphureus elatior. H. giganteus var. subtuberosus Britton is a synonym of H. giganteus L.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root  Seed
Edible Uses:

Tubers - cooked[95]. A similar taste to Jerusalem artichokes but less productive. The var. 'subtuberosus' is used[1, 177]. Seed - raw or cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder, then mixed with cornmeal and used for making bread[2, 14, 46, 61, 183]. The seed is very small and fiddly to use[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position[1]. Requires a rich soil[1]. Dislikes shade[1]. Likes moist soils, doing well by a stream[200]. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them[K]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. Plants have a running root system and can be invasive[1]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Helianthus annuusSunflower, Common sunflowerAnnual3.0 6-9 FLMHSNDM520
Helianthus cusickiiCusick's sunflowerPerennial0.6 7-10 FLMHNDM310
Helianthus doronicoides Perennial1.8 4-8  LMHNM20 
Helianthus hybridsPerennial SunflowerPerennial3.6 4-11 FLMHNDM422
Helianthus laetiflorusShowy Sunflower, Cheerful sunflowerPerennial2.0 4-8  LMHNM20 
Helianthus lenticularisWild SunflowerAnnual3.0 -  LMHNM30 
Helianthus maximilianiiMaximillian Sunflower, Maximillian DaisyPerennial2.4 5-10 MLMHNM300
Helianthus pauciflorusStiff Sunflower, Prairie SunflowerPerennial1.5 3-7 FLMHNDM401
Helianthus petiolarisPrairie SunflowerAnnual3.0 4-8  LMHNDM210
Helianthus strumosusPaleleaf Woodland SunflowerPerennial2.0 4-8  LMHNM21 
Helianthus tuberosusJerusalem ArtichokePerennial2.4 4-8 FLMHNDM413

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Chuck   Tue May 16 2006

these plants are actually a favorite of rabbits. I had to fence mine off to allow them to grow.

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