Ashy sunflower is a colony-forming species that spreads both by seed and rhizome. Under ideal conditions, it is a very aggressive plant. Nevertheless, it is beneficial to a wide variety of insects and wildlife. The foliage is a food source for checkerspot butterflies, and the seeds are a favorite of goldfinches and other birds. Because of its aggressive nature, ashy sunflower could be part of the solution to some erosion problems.
Uses: Bees, pollinators, butterflies, birds, erosion, historically medicinal
Bloom time: July to October
Height: 2 to 4 feet
Space: 12 to 18 inches
Sun: Full sun to light shade
Moisture: Dry to average, well-drained
Seed: Sow seed between December and February. It will benefit from some cold-moist stratification.
- 200 seeds per packet
- 9,000 seeds per ounce
- 1 ounce per 300 square feet
- 9 pounds per acre (yields 30 seeds/square foot)