Friday, December 08, 2006
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia 'Torch')
Tithonia rotundifolia 'Torch'
Having seen this plant in several gardens, including Wave Hill, I decided to find out what it was. I had kind of dismissed it as some kind of Zinnia on steroids. From the glowing reviews I have read I think I might have to try a patch next year. It seems to be very free flowering and while the foliage is a little coarse the flowers make up for that. The color is a wonderful deep orange. It has taken me awhile to appreciate yellow and orange in the garden. When I am designing a garden I usually ask what are the clients favorite colors and yellow and orange are usually never near the top of the list (blue and purple is the most popular answer).
This is a tall annual. I have seen it growing up to 6 feet. It doesn’t seem to flop over which is a plus. I think it a good choice for the back of the border. It is an annual but reseeds itself. It is great for attracting butterflies. There always seemed to be several and some skippers around the flowers when I saw them. This plant is heat and drought resistant but most people recommend watering when dry for better foliage appearance.