Beginning to flower in midsummer, this plant blooms earlier and produces stouter plants than the similar species, Helianthus (often called perennial sunflowers). This plant also tolerates poor, dry soil and partial shade better than its taller cousin. Its numerous varieties bear semi-double or double flowers in yellow and yellow-orange with greenish-yellow or brownish-yellow centers, flowers from July until first frost. All make great cut flowers. Its dark green foliage has a coarse texture. It is shrublike and spreads to form extensive clumps. Plant in any well-drained soil.