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Common Name: Giant Sunflower
Helianthus giganteus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 3.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
N. America - Maine and Ontario to Saskatchewan, Gergia, Louisiana and Kansas.
Damp or rich thickets, swampy woods and clearings[
]. Ususally found in wet open sites at elevations of 10 - 600 metres[
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position[
]. Requires a rich soil[
]. Dislikes shade[
]. Likes moist soils, doing well by a stream[
The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them[
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 - cooked[
]. A similar taste to Jerusalem artichokes but less productive. The var. 'subtuberosus' is used[
Seed - raw or cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder, then mixed with cornmeal and used for making bread[
]. The seed is very small and fiddly to use[
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.