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Heliopsis helianthoides – False Sunflower Sunstruck

False sunflower Sunstruck (Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Sunstruck’) is notable for the large flowers and variegated foliage. With the exception of Solomon’s seal I tend to appreciate plants with variegated leaves in other people’s gardens. False sunflower Sunstruck pulls off the whole variegated leaf thing in a fine and understated style that may lead me to reconsider things. The flowers are truly golden. It is hardy to zone 4.

False sunflower Sunstruck is native

False sunflower Sunstruck
Heliopsis helianthoides Sunstruck

False sunflower Sunstruck only grows a foot or so high (at most) and 12″-18″ wide. It is a clumping plant that spreads slowly. Plant in drifts or tuck against a fencepost in a sunny place. From a garden design perspective, this cultivar is a candidate for gardeners and landscapers to plant in rigid groupings of military precision – resist the urge if you have it.

Perennials such as Heliopsis Sunstruck look best if it appears they moved in on their own. Plants do not arrange themselves in rows.

False Sunflower Sunstruck: long-flowering perennial

Sunstruck will flower for weeks through spring and summer. Heliopsis is easy to grow, with no significant pest or disease problems. Heliopsis will grow well in a wide range of soil types and qualities. It is not particular about moisture…once established ordinary rainfall amounts will be more than enough.

About the variegated leaves: The leaves are white with very fine green veins. The effect is both subtle and dramatic. From a distance, it is the golden flowers that will stand out in the garden landscape. The flowers are large for a Heliopsis, perhaps 2″ across. It is only upon coming up to examine false sunflower Sunstruck more closely that the variegated leaves become apparent.

Plants that draw our attention from across the garden and then reward us when we draw near are a wonderful addition to any landscape.

Heliopsis helianthoides Sunstruck.
Heliopsis helianthoides Sunstruck

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