When is a sunflower not a sunflower? Many flowers look like sunflowers but are not actually sunflowers, although they are often somewhat related. To look like an orange sunflower, a flower must have either a dark or yellow center surrounded by orange petals. Flowers similar to sunflowers may not be as large and won't produce sunflower seeds, but are still close enough to mimic that classic look.
Gazania is a perennial that produces a flower with orange petals that surround an orange-yellow center. Flowers can also be yellow, red and a combination of these colors. It grows between 6 to 12 inches tall and has bluish-green foliage. It is hardy in USDA zones 8b through 11. It should be planted in full sun and will tolerate a wide range of soils.
Most people think of daisies as white, but they also come in orange as well as red, pink, yellow and pink. The gerbera daisy, Gerbera jamesonii, is also known as the African daisy. It is typically grown as an annual, but can be maintained as a perennial if kept indoors in the winter. It is hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11. It will grow about 12 to 18 inches tall and should be planted in full sun.
Prince daisies, Venidium fastuosum, are also known as cape daisies and monarch of the veld. They produce 4-inch flowers with orange petals that surround a purplish-black center. Flowers may also be white. They grow about 2 feet tall and should be planted in full sun. They are hardy in USDA zones 10b through 11.
Oxeye or False Sunflower
The oxeye or false sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides, is also known as the rough heliopsis, hardy zinnia or orange sunflower. Most cultivars produce yellow flowers, but some such as 'Incomparabilis' produce orange ones. Plants can reach heights of 5 feet and produce 2-inch flowers. It is hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9. Plant it in an area with full sun or partial shade in a soil with good drainage.
Mexican sunflowers, Tithonia rotundiflora, can reach heights of 6 feet with flowers 3 inches wide. Flowers come in shades of orange, yellow and red. It prefers full sun, but will grow in areas of partial shade. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10. It is drought resistant, but needs a well-draining soil.
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