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Common Name: Maximillian Sunflower
Helianthus maximilianii is a perennial plant that can grow up to 2.40 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Central N. America - Minnesota and Manitoba to Saskatchewan, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas.
], usually on drier soils[
]. Low moist areas, roadsides and prairies in Texas, often forming large colonies[
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position[
]. Requires a rich soil[
]. Dislikes shade[
The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them[
At least one named form has been developed. Called 'Prairie Gold', it is being investigated by the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas for its oil-seed potential in a non-tillage permaculture system[
]. The yield of edible tubers is not very high.
This species is closely related to H. giganteus[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
Plants have a running root system and can be invasive[
Tubers - raw or cooked[
]. Similar in flavour to Jerusalem artichokes, but lower yielding.
Seed - raw or cooked[
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.