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Zinnia peruviana is often confused with:
Echinacea purpurea Flowers (Wake County, NC)
Gaillardia Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Coreopsis lanceolata flowers and leaves
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Zinnia peruviana has some common insect problems:
Flower Thrips
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants

Zinnia peruviana

Previously known as:

  • Crassina multiflora
  • Zinnia multiflora
  • Zinnia pauciflora
Phonetic Spelling
ZIN-ya per-u-vee-AN-uh
Description

Field zinnia is a fast-growing, quick blooming tropical species and southwestern US native annual in the Asteraceae (daisy) family that has been classified as a weed.  It is often grown in gardens, where its self-seeding nature allows it to be propagated by the wind.  It grows along roadsides, in disturbed locations, wastelands, and pastures.    

Plant it in full sun as shady locations will cause diminished flowing.  Water regularly, however, do not overwater. These plants have a short taproot. 

The stems are mostly unbranched, rough and have fine coarse hairs.   Plants are not typically commercially available at garden centers as a choice for your home garden.  Seeds are available for purchase.  They can also be collected from plants.  Allow the seed heads to dry on the plant before collecting.

Makes an excellent choice for xeriscaping, pollinator, and conservation gardens where the flowers can be cut and brought indoors to enjoy.  Use in a container, mass planted along a walkway or patio, in a border planting or tucked into any other small space in the garden that needs a pop of color.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids and thrips are occasional issues.

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

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Andes Jewel'
    Grows well in cooler climates.
'Andes Jewel'
Tags:
#small spaces#annuals#weeds#weedy#mass planting#low water use plant#herbaceous#NC native#naturalizes#wind dispersed seeds#border planting#self-seeding#cutting garden#wildflower garden#native annual#herbaceous annual#walkway planting#patio planting#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Andes Jewel'
    Grows well in cooler climates.
'Andes Jewel'
Tags:
#small spaces#annuals#weeds#weedy#mass planting#low water use plant#herbaceous#NC native#naturalizes#wind dispersed seeds#border planting#self-seeding#cutting garden#wildflower garden#native annual#herbaceous annual#walkway planting#patio planting#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zinnia
    Species:
    peruviana
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southwestern U.S.A., Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina
    Distribution:
    AZ, FL, FA, NC, SC
    Wildlife Value:
    Its blooms are frequented by Danaus glippus (Queen), Heliconius charithonia Linnaeus (Zebra Longwing), and Leptophobia aripa butterflies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 1 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Dark reddish-orange flowers The flowers are typically single on the solitary erect, purple-green stem, each flower having 6-15 ray florets and 12-50 disc florets.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves have 3-5 veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Typically unbranched, rough and having fine, coarse hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Problems:
    Weedy