Tithonia diversifolia

Tithonia diversifolia

This plant is sometimes known as the tree marigold and comes from Mexico and Central America. A member of the Asteraceae family of plants, it grows as a tall, rather ungainly shrubby perennial (ht to 4.5 m) with huge golden daisy flowers in winter, held above rough, lobed leaves. Due to its lanky shape, it is not the easiest plant to incorporate into a suburban garden; however, if it is possible to weave the stems down through the branches of some nearby shrubs, this can bring the flowers to eye level rather than having them tower way above head height. It needs to be cut back very hard in late winter and again in early summer to stop it getting too leggy. It is best in a sunny spot at the back of a border. Note that in Queensland it is considered a weed, as it may self-seed into bushland areas, so caution should be taken in this regard.

Postscript: My plant eventually became very straggly and was removed. I don't think it is all that suitable for suburban gardens unless it is ruthlessly cut back twice a year to keep it compact, but where there is plenty of space, it can look amazing!

Flowers in June, July.