Mexican Sunflower Fast Facts

Mexican Sunflower Fast Facts image by G.A. Cooper. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, Department of Systematic Biology-Botany
Mexican Sunflower Fast Facts image by G.A. Cooper. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, Department of Systematic Biology-Botany

Overview

Mexican sunflower is a tall and colorful annual, excellent for borders and foundation planting. Because of its large height and rangy habit, Mexican sunflower needs space. In full sun, it will bloom from June until first frost. Cut flowers last several days in water and retain their bright orange color well.

Botanical Name

Mexican sunflower is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is also known as tithonia.

Habit

Mexican sunflower grows to a height of 5 to 6 feet. Most specimens are between 3 and 4 feet wide. Dwarf versions are also available that reach a height of only 3 feet.

Color

Numerous red-orange flower heads cover the plant. The flowers resemble daisies and are approximately 3 inches across.

Hardiness and Range

A native of Central America, Mexican sunflower is hardy in zones 5 to 10 where it will self-sew. If it is started from seed indoors, it can be grown successfully in zone 4.

Requirements

Full sun is best for Mexican sunflower, but it will grow and flower in filtered sun. Heat and draught tolerant, it prefers well-drained soil.

Use

Mexican sunflower attracts butterflies and can be used in fresh cut arrangements. Its stems are somewhat fragile and should be cut carefully to avoid damage.

References

  • Floridata: Tithonia
Keywords: mexican sunflower, tithonia, red orange flower

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.

Photo by: G.A. Cooper. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, Department of Systematic Biology-Botany