Stiff sunflower Description:
Helianthus pauciflorus, commonly known as stiff sunflower or prairie sunflower, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It is native to North America and can be found growing in a variety of habitats, including prairies, meadows, and along roadsides.
The plant typically grows to a height of 2 to 6 feet and has an upright habit with stiff, hairy stems and rough-textured leaves that are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. In mid to late summer, it produces one to a few large, daisy-like flowers that are typically bright yellow, although they can also be orange or reddish-brown. The flowers have a prominent central disk that is surrounded by drooping ray flowers.
Helianthus pauciflorus is a hardy and easy-to-grow plant that prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is commonly used in prairie gardens, meadow gardens, and other naturalistic landscapes. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also valued for its ecological importance, as it provides habitat and food for a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. It is also commonly used as a cut flower in floral arrangements. The plant can spread by rhizomes, so it may need to be controlled in some situations.
Stiff sunflower is found across the state of Minnesota. More broadly, Stiff sunflower can be found mostly in the central United States with some dispersion Northwest and Eastern states.
Standard Plant Information:
Plant Height: 2' - 6'
Bloom Time: July - September
Preferred Habitat: Does well in sun and average to dry soil. Often found in prairies, along railroads, and roadsides.
For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre. For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.
You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.
Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.
maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers