Love Them and Hate Them : Swamp Sunflowers

These happy, yellow flowers can catch my eye from across the yard. I love to see their sunny petals. I believe these are Helianthus angustifolius and were given to me, as the way most unruly plants get to my garden, by another generous gardener. Or in other words, from someone who had too many of them and I can’t refuse a free plant.

But, I hate the fact that they grow  over six feet tall and eventually fall over, landing in the middle of my beds.

The Swamp Sunflowers lean against the trees and the fence.  And yet, every year I enjoy them so much that I can’t bring myself to remove all the plants that come up. I collect their seeds to hopefully pass along to someone else that likes free plants.

Fall Bloomers


Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius).  This bright bloomer started right at the beginning of fall to the delight of the bees.  As its name implies, it likes a moist area.  It grows up to 6 feet tall and is a prolific reseeder.


This Pam’s Pink Turks Cap desperately needed a trimming, but thankfully it was too hot to do the job and now it is loaded with flowers and buds.


White Rain Lilies (Zephyranthes candida) pop up every year around this time and each year there are more of them.  They are in the amaryllis  family and can be separated and moved to new beds or shared with gardening friends.  Wild ones grow around this area and they have a scent.


This Blue Salvia, the name has been lost, is always a reliable bloomer just when the butterflies and hummingbirds stop by on their journeys south.


This Red Salvia is just super, blooming in the spring and fall.  It takes a break during summer.


Coleus Flowers are not very exciting, but the bees sure do like them.  All of the Coleus were started by cuttings.  It is just about time to start some for the winter.  They do well in a sunny window and can be returned to the outdoors when the weather warms up.


Torenias (Torenia fournieri) has many names.  Wishbone because of its stamens form a wishbone shape.  It is also called Clown Flower, Summer pansy (we grow pansies in the winter here) and Bluewing.  What ever you call it, it is a great little plant that takes partial shade and reseeds in the Automatic Garden.