En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - February 03, 2005

From: Green Mountain, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Sunflower with large, thick, fuzzy leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello Smarty Plants: I live in Green Mt. NC and am a Master Gardener Volunteer in Buncombe County (Asheville). In summer several years ago we visited a garden which had a beautiful sunflower with large, thick, fuzzy leaves. The fuzz was white, the leaves were blue, and the veins had a reddish caste. The plant stands about 6' high, grows in full sun. I was given seeds to plant in my garden and had flowers for a few years, gathering the seeds to plant the following year. The last year I had this plant I waited too late in the summer to gather the seeds and the birds (?) had beat me to it.  I went back to my original source and the owner said that his seeds were also gone. The name of the sunflower is Helianthus argophyllus. Please find me a source, I miss this sunflower very much in my garden.

ANSWER:

According to the USDA Plants Database the silverleaf sunflower (Helianthus argophyllus) occurs in Texas, Florida and North Carolina. You can search on the Wildflower Center web page for nurseries and seed companies that specialize in native seeds. Select Explore Plants from the side bar and then select Suppliers Directory. You can then choose Seed Companies and search for companies by state or region. The seed companies I found with in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina with web sites did not list Helianthus argophyllus, but you might try them and the ones listed without websites by telephone. Another possibility is to try an organization called "Seeds of Texas". Members of Seeds of Texas "grow or collect, and trade, seeds of native and heirloom or traditional garden plants adapted to the Gulf and Southwest States." Their website was not functioning but here is other contact information for them:

Seeds of Texas
PO Box 9882
College Station, TX 77842
Email: jackrowe@compuserve.com

A quick Google search revealed one company Chiltern Seeds in, of all places, England, with seeds of Helianthus argophyllus for sale.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Smarty Plants on earliest blooming wildflowers
November 19, 2004 - For Spring, what are the earliest blooming wild flowers and when do they typically bloom? I know it's terribly early to be predicting these things, but any idea if the 2005 Bluebonnet crop in Austi...
view the full question and answer

Flowering plants for shady garden in Bastrop
July 02, 2010 - We live in Bastrop, 8 miles west of the Historical district. We have a small flower garden in a shady spot around 25 feet from the back patio of our home. We'd like to find out what native plants, f...
view the full question and answer

Federal database on use of wildflowers
June 24, 2008 - Recently read about wedding planned to reduce typical costs AND "go green." One action the bridal party took was to decorate with wildflowers. I was appalled. So, my question, because apparently..my...
view the full question and answer

Changing blooming patterns on sunflowers from Kimball NE
September 05, 2013 - The common sunflower seems to be very prolific some years, not so much others. Is this weather related or cyclical?
view the full question and answer

White Bluebonnets
March 15, 2004 - Are white Bluebonnets rare?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center