Fast-growing: Jua Maya Hybrid (45-50 days), Cherry Rose (40 days)

Prolific dwarf: Sunray Yellow

State Fair potential: Russian Mammoth

Fun for kids: Sunforest Mix (for sunflower forests or gardens near houses)

Hedge material: Sunny Bunch

Mass-planting sizzle: Suntastic Pink Bicolor Hybrid

Impressive size: Sunzilla

Long blooming: Valentine

Floral/still-life subject: Van Gogh (green centers and pollen-free)

Short stuff: Elf at 16 inches, Orange Hobbit at 12 to 18 inches

Crafty: Hopi Black Dye (makes lavender, blue and purple shades)

Reddest of the reds: Chianti Hybrid, Chocolate Cherry, Black Beauty

Pure geometry: Zebulon

Adorably shaggy: Teddy Bear, Honey Bear, Double Dandy


Seed sources: Burpee, Renee’s Garden Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Johnny’s, Swallowtail Garden Seeds, Park Seed


Rhonda Fleming Hayes