A titan of a flower

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Mexican Tree Sunflower
Tithonia fruiticosa
Asteraceae

  • USUALLY GROWS to about 6-7' tall though can reach about 10-12'

  • PERENNIAL shrub

  • regular to moderate WATER (bottom to terrace zones)

  • FULL TO PART SUN

  • HARDY TO ABOUT 15º F

  • Yellow flowers spring through fall

  • ATTRACTS birds, BUTTERFLIES, AND NATIVE BEES

  • protect from frosts if you don't want your plant to look ragged in winter

Mexican tree sunflower is a giant flowering perennial, growing to 10 or even 12 feet tall, though they can be pruned to smaller dimensions. Most plants seem to top out at about 6-7 feet tall. Plants are evergreen (if they don't experience temperatures below about 15º F) and take moderate water. In some of the cooler locations of Tucson, plants can become somewhat ragged in winter. Either protect them from cold, or plant as a backdrop where, when looking less elegant, it can hide for the season. 

This is a great screen plant, and a host to many insects (as nectar provider as well as larval food for several species of butterflies). Birds love the seeds and habitat provided by this large spreading shrub. 

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Katherine Gierlach