Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Seeds of mayflower
May 03, 2005 - Although I now live in Virginia, I grew up in eastern South Dakota. Several years ago while visiting SD I was walking in the pasture and noticed that many of the wild mayflowers (pasqueflowers) had ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012 - I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
May 27, 2009 - My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
view the full question and answer

Blooming time in Austin for wildflowers
March 12, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants!! I am a wildflower artist coming for my first spring visit to Austin to exhibit in the Artisan's Festival. As a wildflower fanatic, I am hoping to see and photograph some of "...
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Mexican bush sage in USDA Zone 7
September 25, 2006 - I have a Mexican Sage (salvia). I need to know the care of it especially because it is a gift and the plant is about 5 ft. With the weather and the red clay I don't know if I could plant it or just ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.