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Maximilian Sunflower

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Maximilian Sunflower

Maximilian sunflower, is a tall, warm season, spreading, perennial forb which is a member of the true sunflower family. Large, showy, yellow blooms occur throughout the full 5‰ÛÔ7 feet height of the plant in great abundance during late summer and fall. During this period, the plant adds a brilliant splash of color and texture to range sites, natural areas, and landscapes.

Helianthus may be used as an ingredient in range seeding mixtures to provide a high quality forage for livestock, and food and cover for wildlife. The plant’s long flowering period and spreading habit, along with its tendency to form thickets or large colonies, make it ideal for wildlife food and cover. Livestock, especially sheep and goats, readily eat the forage.

It may be used as a natural hedge or tall screen to block out harsh areas. It also makes a colorful, attractive landscape plant.

It has the potential of being an excellent filter strip plant due to its seemingly great ability to uptake and use excess water and nutrients.


Seedbed preparation should begin in the late summer or fall prior to a scheduled spring seeding. This will greatly help reduce excessive weed growth. Maximilian sunflower benefits from having a clean weed-free seedbed.

Establish with range seeding mixtures at a rate of 1/4 to l/2 pounds of seed per acre. If it is to be planted in strips or blocks, plant at a rate of 1 pound of seed per acre. Seed should be placed from 3/8 to 1/2 inch deep. In rows for hedges or screens, plant seed 1/2 to 1 inch apart and thin to 8 inches apart when plants are about 2 inches tall. Allow about 3 feet to each side of planting to allow for plants to spread.

Pests and Potential Problems

Plants may be susceptible to root rot.


Plant description via USDA-NRCS Plant Database, Plant Fact Sheet: Maximilian Sunflower, Helianthus maximiliani