Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sawtooth Sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus)

Sawtooth Sunflower
Helianthus grosseserratus
(hee-lee-AN-thus) (gros-ser-AY-tus)

This is one of those plants that I have seen before but really didn’t know the name or much about it. This flower was growing in the Rock Garden at the New York Botanical garden. Well it was newly planted in the area next to the Rock Garden. This plant is tall! With this specimen reaching about 10 feet. It is a little rangy looking but the flowers are beautiful. If I had a small garden I probably wouldn’t consider this one as it is just too big but it would make a nice back of the border or mass planting in the larger garden. The Willow-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus salicifolius) is a better choice for smaller gardens.

The Sawtooth Sunflower is distinct from some of other Sunflowers with its glaucous, glabrous stems and thin serrated and slightly folded leaves. While native to the Midwestern US it has spread through the Eastern Us and was introduced to Canada. Here is a link to a distribution map:

It likes to grow in slightly moist rich soils but can tolerate even dry gravelly soil. Plants that grow in dense thickets are usually shorter and more compact. Single plants can reach 12 feet tall and are hardy to USDA Zone 3.

Like the post I made the other day with the Elm leaves here are some Guava (Psidium guajava) leaves from the same ‘roll’ as the Sunflower. This picture was shot inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the NYBG. As much as I try to take pictures inside there they hardly ever come out especially in the section the Guava was growing which is cool and very moist. Here is some more information about Guava:

Finally, in response to Ki’s post about hot sauces of October 11th here is the rack of them I saw in Santa Fe, NM. This was about half of the rack.


Entangled said...

I surfed over from your comment on Ki's blog to look at the hot sauce display. That's impressive.

We were in a grocery store recently where some of the hot sauces were locked up in a display case with a warning sign about how hot they are. First time I've ever seen that.

Ki said...

Ahhh, I see Dave's and the Death sauces are well represented. And I think I see El Yucateco sauce on the second to the last shelf on the bottom but the others are new to me. I see I have a long way to go in hot saucedom.

The guava leaves in your photos don't look like the ones growing in the wild which are much coarser looking. Did the tree have beautiful smooth bark with nice mottling?

Digital Flower Pictures said...

hi entangled, Speaking for my self I probably wouldn't mess with that the stuff that was locked up.

this picture wasn't as complete as I remembered it. :( The Guava did have the nice bark. It was too dark to get a picture of it. No tripods are allowed.

Annie in Austin said...

In the right place that Sawtooth Sunflower could be beautiful, DFP - although a 10-foot perennial would take commitment. Sometimes I leave seedlings of some tall annual sunflower at the back of the vegetable patch and like its rustic in that spot, but know I only have to like it for one season.

The sauces are like bands - the most important thing is thinking up the name! Maybe there's a sauce you haven't seen at this place - at one time they maintained a Hot Sauce Museum, but I don't see it mentioned on the Tears of Joy website. There's also a Hot Sauce Festival in Austin every year. I've attended as a spectator - not a taster.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Sandy Carlson said...

Sawtooth Sunflower! Aha! That gem is all over the place around here! I have not known it's name until now.
Thanks for the scoop!

CG said...

wow, that's an amazing sunflower! Beautiful photos too. Those hot sauces are something else!!

david mcmahon said...

Second and third shots are brilliant, Chris.

Why's it called a sawtooth?

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Hi annie,

I am only a casual consumer of hot sauces but the festival sounds like fun. I agree you have to have space for a 10 foot perennial.

sandy, thanks. I have been seeing it around more now that I have been looking.

hi cg, thanks for the comment on the pictures. You too David. The light was hitting the flower right.

David, maybe because it doesn't have a good dental plan? Just kidding. It is in the leaves which you can barely see in the first picture. The flowers are not irregular or uneven.