About this cultivar:
Helenium Mardi Gras = 'Helbro' is an erect, clump-forming, sneezeweed with bushy basal growth. A Blooms of Bressingham introduction, it was discovered as a chance seedling of two unidentified Helenium cultivars growing in a controlled environment in Worcester in 1996. The yellow rays of the unusually large flowers are irregularly splashed with various shades of red and it flower for quite a long time.
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: July, August, September
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert
- Hardiness: H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Clump forming, Columnar or Upright
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Height: 60 - 90cm (2 - 3 ft)
Spread: 30 - 60 cm (1 - 2 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
- Colour: Green, red, yellow
- Goes well with: Crocosmia, Alstroemeria, or Dahlia. Aconitum, Salvia, or Agapanthus. Dark foliage; try Eupatorium, Actea, Cotinus etc.
About this genus:
Helenium (Hel-e-ne-um) is a genus of about 40 species of annuals and deciduous herbaceous perennials in the daisy family (Asteraceae) native to the Americas. We only grow perennial cultivars though! They bear yellow,red, or orange daisy-like flowers. A number of these species (particularly Helenium autumnale) have the common name sneezeweed, based on the former use of their dried leaves in making snuff, inhaled to cause sneezing that would supposedly rid the body of evil spirits. The name possibly means Helen-Flower after Helen of Troy, a legend has it these plants sprang from her tears!
Like most plants in the daisy family Helenium prefer full sun but will be fine in part shade. Also, like many daisies, Helenium still look great when the petals fall because the seed heads are like little globe structures on the end of stems. We had trouble growing some supposedly-good cultivars in the past but we finally found a few cultivars that do really well for us in our wet-clay garden at Ballyrobert- most of them are offered here unless we are out of stock!
One way to use Helenium in the garden is too complement the warm tones by blending it with equally sunny and vibrant flowers. Crocosmia, Alstroemeria, or Dahlia spring to mind. Also try an orange-blue combo with Aconitum, Salvia, or Agapanthus. One of our favorite combos is hot colours on dark foliage; try Eupatorium, Actea, Cotinus etc.