New petal power
These sunflower varieties are recent introductions to the North American market:
– Floristan This unusual bicolor has rusty-red petals, yellow tips and a dark disk. Compact, Floristan is only 3 feet tall with numerous branches producing 18-inch flower stems. Flowers are 6 inches in diameter. Harvest the cut flowers in about 9 to 10 weeks.
– Hallo Bred for cut flowers, this variety has 6- to 8-inch golden yellow blooms with dark centers. Garden height is about 5 1/2 feet with 35-inch branches. Begin harvesting in about 11 weeks.
– Holiday – Bred for a branching, hedge-type habit on 4-foot plants, Holiday is easy for gardeners to grow. Look for golden yellow flowers with dark centers. Flowers are 6-8 inches in diameter. Begin harvesting cut flowers in about 10 to 12 weeks.
– Music Box This dwarf well-branched plant, only 28 inches tall, has a colorful mix of blooms ranging from yellow cream to mahogany red. Blooms are 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
– Prado Red This early flowering variety, an F1 hybrid, yields 5- to 6-inch red sunflowers. Plants are 4-6 feet tall, branching with numerous flowers per stem.
– Sonja Sonja was bred for a branching, hedge-type habit. More of a dwarf variety than Holiday, it reaches only 3 1/2 feet tall. The medium-size, 4-inch-diameter flowers are golden orange with dark centers. The side stems produce a unique spray of sunflowers. Cuts have a long vase life.
– Valentine Lemon yellow petals contrast with dark centers. The blooms are 4-6 inches in diameter, and plants reach about 5 feet tall. Harvest in 8-10 weeks.
– Big Smile The shortest sunflower at 12-14 inches, Big Smile flowers in about 50-60 days with golden yellow petals and a dark disk.
– Sunspot Large flowers up to 12 inches are produced on plants only 18 to 24 inches tall. Sunspot is extra early, flowering in about 60 days. The flower produces large seed heads for use as bird seed or people snacks.
– Moonbright This F1 hybrid is pollenless with uniform, vigorous growth. The flower has lemon yellow petals and a dark brown disk. Plant height is about 6 feet, and flowers are about 5 inches wide. Harvest in about 80 to 100 days from sowing seed.
– Pollenless, Full Sun This very tall variety, reaching 8-10 feet, is a Russian Mammoth-type sunflower with pollenless blossoms.
– Sunbright The first pollenless type, Sunbright was introduced in North America in 1988 as an F1 hybrid. The petals are golden yellow, and the disk is brown. The plant height is 6 feet with the sunflower about 5 inches in diameter. Harvest in 80 to 100 days.
– Sunbeam This vigorous, pollenless F1 hybrid grows to about 6 feet with flowers about 5 inches in diameter. The petals are golden yellow with the disk a greenish yellow. Harvest in 80 to 100 days.
– Sunrich Lemon Early to bloom in about 70 to 80 days in the garden, the Sunrich Lemon variety has bright yellow petals with a contrasting black disk. Garden height is about 3-4 feet.
– Sunrich Orange Petals are golden yellow with a black disk. Harvest early in about 70 to 80 days. Garden height is about 3-4 feet.