Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

Plant portrait: Heliopsis – Oxeye

Who doesn’t know the sun’s eye? Old cottage garden shrub that can be up to 180 cm high and blooms from summer to autumn with its small yellow sunflower-like flower heads.
Belongs to the sunflower family and is native to North and Central America.
In addition to the classic sun eye – Heliopsis helianthoides – there has also been a second species for a long time: Heliopsis helianthoides var. Scabra. This species is much more compact in growth (50-120 cm).
Most of the breeds arose from this species. A lot has happened here in recent years and there are already a wealth of new products. And unfortunately I’m already sure that not all of them are really suitable for gardening.
Regardless of this, the sun eye is a very robust perennial that is very suitable for pruning. It really blooms from the beginning of August until frost.
Since they are not as vigorous as helenium and asters, they do not need to be divided as quickly. The new color spectrum and dark foliage variants make them an eye-catcher.
As an individual, she may not always be long-lived in the perennial garden.
I myself find them to be a real asset to the prairie garden, as they go well with helenium and grasses. With us they are also very stable and do not need any support.



Variety recommendations:

Bleeding Hearts:
Leaf: dark purple
Flowering period: August – October
Height: 100/120 cm
Flower color: orange-red bronze

Burning Hearts
Leaf: dark purple
Flowering period: July – September
Height: 120 cm
Flower color: golden yellow – orange-red

Prairie Sunset
Leaf: dark green
Flowering period: July – September
Height: 120 cm
Flower color: light yellow – golden center, simple

Fire Twister
Leaf: dark purple
Flowering period: July – September
Height: 80-100 cm
Flower color: orange-red


All in all, a really remarkable development in this range, especially for those who don’t just like yellow tones in autumn. I can only hope that the many new varieties do not take away the joy of this perennial.

Uedemerbruch, January 16, 2022

Michael Bongers