Native to the Tallgrass prairie, the perennial Maximilian Sunflower blooms from August to October, and comes back thicker every year. It spreads from rhizomes and seeds. It stands in all its glory, 4 to 6 feet tall, and its rich green circular colonies are quite beautiful even when they're not in flower.
In late summer and early fall, when most other wildflowers have retired from the scene, three-inch yellow flower heads bloom up and down the stalks of these plants all at once. Plant this sunflower along a fence or the side of a building, as a hedge. You can prune them back to about 18 inches or 2 feet in late May, to make a thicker clump. They build a mound of green foliage all summer, then shoot up late in the season to produce their masses of big yellow blooms.
Monarch butterflies will flock to this one! The nector and seeds of the Maximilian Sunflower make it useful in wildlife habitat restoration, and our guess is that this will be one of your favorites. The roots are heavy, corm-like rhizomes that are capable of producing new stems or plants at their nodes, and a "handful" in this case will make 5 to 10 plants.