Many years ago a local grower friend of mine gave me a few “Mexican Sunflower” (Tithonia) seeds. Little did I know that this particular variety is also known as the “tree sunflower” and, unlike true sunflowers, is a perennial down here in zone 9. It blooms continuously from March to November and over the years has spread into alarge showy plant about 15-20 feet (5-6 meters) high and equally wide.

Best part is it requires almost no maintenance. Each winter I whack it back to the ground and each spring it comes right back. I don’t even water it.