It is an impossible task to limit oneself to just 5 favourite Heleniums but that is what I've asked some keen growers to do. These are the varieties that they have chosen.
Professor Bernd Hertle of Sichtungsgarten Weihenstephan, Bavaria, Germany.
Prof Hertle has recently completed a large Helenium trial in Germany.
Helenium Feuersiegel Petals upsweeping and upwardly curled towards margins. Deep yellow very variably marked or-red in a broad band with stronger marks on reverse.
Helenium Flammenrad This was showing the wrong plant but the picture shown now IS Prof Hertle's favourite! It was photographed in the trial garden an Weihenstephan where it has been growing for many years.
Helenium Moerheim Beauty It has been around since the 1930s but it is still up there with the best. Lovely the way the petals hang back and the red is a good red.
Helenium Septembergold Late and lovely.
Helenium Waldtraut Huge, single and rather loose flowers
Beatrice Krehl gardens at the famous "Tuinen Mien Ruys"in Holland where the variety Moerheim Beauty originated.
These are her 5
favorites from her collection in 2001 but as she says "I haven't seen all the Heleniums yet." Beatrice is assembling a large collection in Holland.
Helenium Dunkle Pracht' / Dark Beauty 120cm tall. Flwrs from 4 Aug - flattish, deep red flowers age brown Jul-Sep set among dark green leaves
Helenium Moerheim Beauty Petals very laid back, the rich red ground fades to ochre-brown as flower ages, reverse even dark red
Helenium Rauchtopas Distinctive brown flecking on the petals, more pronounced on undersides. Uwe Peglow in Germany introduced this variety.
Helenium Rubinzwerg Opens red-brown marked yellow then rapidly an even dark red-brown, reverse similar, reflexes with age
Helenium Zimbelstern One of Karl Foerster's 73 introductions.
Martin Hughes-Jones from Sampford Shrubs, Devon.
UK National Collection holder. "It's almost impossible to select just 5, but, at the moment, of those I've seen flower, I'd pick these."
Helenium Flammendes Käthchen "Red Haired Katy" - lovely colour. Some of the reds are a bit on the dark side but not this one!
Helenium Waldtraut Starts early and finishes late with lovely coppery shaggy flowers.
Helenium El Dorado This is a recent introduction and the picture does not do the plant justice - a bloom with a lot of presence and a big cone at its centre.
Helenium Sahin's Early Flowerer An impossible choice to select just one from the shorter forms! I could equally well have picked "The Bishop", "Gold Fox", "pumilum magnificum" or the rather taller "Riverton Beauty" to fit this slot.
Helenium Ragamuffin My own introduction but it really is lovely!