It is true, some Latin names have a sound of sophistication (Diospyros virginiana). Others may sound ominous (Toxicodendron radicans) or simple (Zea mays). But it is the Helianthus spp. that holds me rapt when I say the word, out loud or in my head. It is as though the word has sprung forth from the divine lips of mother nature herself. So steadfastly does it stick in my mind, I cannot help but think this group of plants holds something special about it.

This is the swamp sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius. Native. Perennial. Taller than tall.

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Pretty sure that is a beneficial little wasp. Those green fuzzy shapes in the top foreground are Amorpha fruticosa.

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Quite unruly – in the future, I’ll cut them back before they put out flower buds (June or July).

This is a flower that gives more than it takes.

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