The common Sunflower is too coarse a plant for horticultural purposes, although useful enough for producing supplies of valuable seed for agricultural and other purposes. There are, however, many choice varieties, some miniature forms (fig. 247) of which are only 2-3 ft. high, which produce handsome blossoms varying in colour from soft primrose to deep golden yellow with a dark centre. Some good forms worth growing for cut flowers are Golden Nigger, Sulphur Gem, Apollo, Diadem, Starlight, etc, amongst the singles, while there are also double forms. They are all easily raised from seeds sown in the open air in April and May, or in warmth in March, the young plants being spaced out eventually about 2 ft. apart. The perennial Sunflowers are considered under the genus Helianthus, see p. 51.

Miniature Sunflower.

Fig. 247. - Miniature Sunflower.