I am proud to be representing North Creek Nurseries in their introduction of a fantabulous new false sunflower (Helianthus x multiflorus) called ‘Sunshine Daydream’. This new selection has many, completely double yellow blooms and deep green foliage on a tall, sturdy plant.
Size: 5 to 6 feet tall by 2 to 4 feet wide
USDA hardiness Zones: 4-8
Sun/shade: Full Sun
Soil: Average garden soil
Moisture: moist, but well drained
Diseases and Pests: This selection is generally free of powdery mildew
Landscape use: Middle of the border, foundation plantings, mass plantings, butterfly gardens, cutting gardens, cottage gardens.
Market appeal/Uniqueness: Sunshine Daydream was found as a branch sport of ‘Capenoch Star’. This selection has fully double blooms with petals that re-curve toward the stem. Capenoch Star has small, true sunflower-like blooms. This selection has also been compared to ‘Flore Pleno’. Sunshine Daydream has fully rounded, dahlia-like blooms that are smaller in diameter, but much more numerous in quantity. In comparison to ‘Loddon’s Gold’, the blooms of Sunshine Daydream have a much more pincushion or dome-like appearance and a much more uniform shape. This selection is also the most golden-yellow of the three.
Propagation methods: vegetative stem cuttings with intermittent mist and bottom heat.
Bloom time: from June to August, flowering continuously.
Sunshine Daydream was discovered by North Creek Nursery’s General Manager Tim McGinty in 2006, but it caught my eye while visiting their trial gardens on a trip during the Perennial Plant Association Symposium in 2008. The weather was phenomenal for July in Philadelphia and the trial gardens had been manicured to perfection. This plant really stood out in the trials, so I began asking about its origin. It was covered in blooms and standing there – a group of three plants – straight and strong and five feet tall – in perfect form. The foliage was perfectly clean and there were leaves covering every inch of the stems – even after the wretchedly hot, dry summer it had already endured. This selection really stood out as a gem for the mid-summer garden. It’s a winner. I think it could soon replace all other double-flowered helianthus.
I know there are a lot of yellow, summer-blooming perennials, but most of them can’t withstand the torture of an East Coast summer and still stand tall with such clean foliage. I believe it is a winner and I do think it could very well replace all other helianthus of this type on the market.
Trial plants are available this April/May to Licensed Growers. If you’d like some – let me know.