These upright, easygoing perennials promise to brighten any sunny spot with their cheerful display of yellow, daisy-like flowers. Inulas belong to the Asteraceae family and require little maintenance, asking only for well drained soil.
With finely petaled flowers so yellow and round that they look like the sun in a young child’s drawing, the vigorous Inula hookeri guarantees a vibrant effect. If given plenty of space plus moisture-retentive soil, trust its upright stems and bright green leaves to create a strong, dense clump. We’re especially fond of its fuzzy buds, and like to unite this vivacious perennial with Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Thalictrum rochebrunianum.
Blooms late July–October.
Size: 4' 0" high x 18" & spreading wide.
Hardy to zone 5.
The species name of this perennial pretty much sums up its monumental presence. Tough, roughly textured, Dock-like leaves create a verdant mass, diminishing in size as they ascend stout stalks.
The towering purple-streaked stems are crowned with widely branching heads of 3 to 4 in. daisies, delicately rayed, golden yellow blooms that emerge from brown buds. Give it plenty of room, and highlight its massive stature with the arresting color and delicate foliage of Thalictrum ‘Elin’.
Size: 7' 0" – 8' 0" high x 4' 0" – 5' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 6.
Inula racemosa ‘Sonnenspeer’ (P-1654)
Soaring to lofty altitudes, this impressive perennial launches nearly 7 ft. tall, red-streaked stalks clothed in large, wavy hirsute leaves up to a foot long. Big, bright yellow daisies—narrow-rayed and shaggy looking—are borne among the verdant foliage on lengthy spires.
All these generous proportions forge a dramatic clumping specimen that can be underplanted with contrasting ground covers such as Sesleria ‘Greenlee’ or Pennisetum spathiolatum in the wild garden, back of the border or pond side. Even stately as it goes dormant, ‘Sonnenspeer’s glistening bronze leaves offer fall and early winter appeal.
Blooms June – September.
Size: 6' 0" – 7' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 4.