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Prairie Zinnia Zinnia grandiflora

Previously known as:

  • Crassina grandiflora
Phonetic Spelling
ZIN-ya gran-dih-FLOR-uh
Description

The word grandiflora (grandiflorus) refers to big or showy flowers. 

Zinnia grandiflora is a water-wise native plant of the southwest USA.  Its native habitat includes dry, calcareous slopes (mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate) and mesas.  The soils found in these locations are sandy loam, sand, gravel, and of a limestone-based texture. 

This adaptive plant is deemed to be rugged and durable, existing in conditions characterized by rocky-sandy soils, severe heat, strong winds, and cold temperatures.  In the garden, it can flourish in typically difficult locations such as south-facing slopes and along hot driveways.  With adequate moisture it will lose its brittle quality and will appear fuller with brighter blossoms.

In its native habitat, it grows as a perennial and seldom seen as a solitary plant, but several mats clumped together.  When not blooming, the tiny, needle-like foliage forms a low mat of green.  It can also be grown from seed or cuttings as an annual in other areas.  The seeds are not typically available for commercial use, as they are easily broken when cleaned by machine.  Cuttings or division should be done in the spring.  

This Zinnia spreads by rhizomes, making it a go-to plant for erosion control on steep or sandy slopes.  Its long bloom season lasts for most of the summer, making it ideal for perennial gardens, rock gardens, and borders.

Its multi-stemmed and multi-branched form provides a shrub-looking plant.  

A multitude of beneficial insects are attracted to the blooms.   Its pollen and nectar attract butterflies, moths, and bees.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Cannot tolerate wet conditions.  Spreads by rhizomes. 

 

 VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

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Tags:
#bees#sun#showy flowers#yellow#heat tolerant#annual#drought tolerant#low growing#perennial#wildlife plant#native perennial#rabbit resistant#perennial flowers#groundcover#pollinator plant#native wildflower#native#dry soils tolerant#pollinators#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#wet soil intolerant#water-wise
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#sun#showy flowers#yellow#heat tolerant#annual#drought tolerant#low growing#perennial#wildlife plant#native perennial#rabbit resistant#perennial flowers#groundcover#pollinator plant#native wildflower#native#dry soils tolerant#pollinators#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#wet soil intolerant#water-wise
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zinnia
    Species:
    grandiflora
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southwestern U.S.A. to Mexico
    Distribution:
    AZ, CO, KS, NM, OK, TX
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies, moths, and bees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Defines Paths
    Textural
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    4-5 petals/rays
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The 1", long-blooming yellow flowers are in bloom from May to October. Dark yellow petals have an orange-brown center.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1", needle-like, short foliage
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Multi-stemmed emerge from a woody base.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Heat
    Rabbits
    Wind