Herb: Giant Sunflower


Latin name: Helianthus giganteus


Synonyms: Helianthus altissimus


Family: Compositae



Edible parts of Giant Sunflower:

Tubers - cooked. A similar taste to Jerusalem artichokes but less productive. The var. "subtuberosus" is used. Seed - raw or cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder, then mixed with cornmeal and used for making bread. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
3.6 m
(12 feet)

Flovering:
September
to October

Habitat of the herb:

Damp or rich thickets, swampy woods and clearings.

Propagation of Giant Sunflower:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Damp or rich thickets, swampy woods and clearings.

Medicinal use of Giant Sunflower:

None known

Known hazards of Helianthus giganteus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.