Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Helhan’ (Loraine Sunshine)

Heliopsis Loraine Sunshine

Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Helhan’   Family: Asteraceae
Syn. Heliopsis helianthoides Loraine Sunshine
(hee-lee-OP-sis  hee-lee-an-THOY-deez)
Common name: false sunflower; ox-eye daisy
Zone: 3 – 9 
Height: 2 – 3 ft (60-90 cm)   Spread: 2 – 3 ft (60-90 cm)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: average; well-draining
Water: moderate

Description: An herbaceous, upright growing, perennial. Dynamic lanceolate leaves are white with strong green colouring in the veins. Leaf edges tend to naturally curl upwards slightly. Round, daisy-like flowers are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and a bright cheery yellow colour. Blooming period begins in mid-June and lasts through until frost. Good cut flowers. Drought tolerant once established. Powdery mildew can be a problem; allow for good air circulation. Watch for aphids.

Special Notes: Heliopsis spp. are native to the eastern and central regions of Canada and the United States. This variegated hybrid was discovered in a Wisconsin garden in 1992. Blooms of Bressingham took on the propagation and eventually introduced it worldwide.

Tolerant of a range of soil conditions with the exception of very fertile and very poor. The former produces lanky growth with a tendency to flop. Very poor soil conditions will produce a smaller clump with fewer stems.


Heliopsis helianthoides Loraine SunshineIn our Zone 7a garden:Loraine Sunshine was introduced into our back garden about ten years ago and has been greatly enjoyed ever since. At full three foot height and spread, the plant is pure delight when in full bloom and really quite incredible for its long bloom period extending into late fall. Even the tough drought conditions we have been experiencing for the last four summers now have not fazed its floral show. Can highly recommend this Heliopsis cultivar.


Posted on July 25, 2018

Spilosoma virginica (yellow woolly bear)

Spilosoma virginica - wing markings Spilosoma virginica
(SPIL-oh-so-mah  ver-GIN-eh-kah)
Family: Erebidae            Subfamily: Arctiidae
Common name: yellow woolly bear; Virginian tiger moth
Host plant(s): range of low-growing, herbaceous plants
Adult size: wingspan: 1.3 – 2.0 in (3.2-5.2 cm)
Larval length: up to 2.0 in (5.0 cm)
Flight time: May through August

Type: minimal pest  

Life cycle:
            Generations per year: 2 to 3
            Egg: unknown
            Larva: unknown
            Pupa: unknown
            Adult: unknown

Spilosoma virginica - side viewDescription: A medium-sized moth with white head, thorax, abdomen, and wings. The forewing has two black dots; the hindwing has several black dots, mostly located in a row in the  marginal area. Anterior legs are marked with yellow and black; remaining legs are white and black. The white abdomen is characteristically marked with yellow-orange and black dots arranged symmetrically.

Larva is woolly-looking, covered densely with long yellow and white hairs.

Adult moths begin to appear in late spring…typically May. After mating, females will lay 20 – 100 eggs grouped in a single layer on the underside of a leaf. When larvae hatch, they stay together for a brief period, feeding, and then disperse singly to other plants. Larvae defoliate host plant by skeletonizing its leaves, but usually does not harm the plant. Most larval damage occurs in the last generation as fall approaches. This generation will overwinter in the pupa stage. There are two to three generations per year.


Spilosoma virginica moth - front viewSpecial Notes: Native throughout the temperate regions of North America. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is generally found at low elevations from the northern parts of central British Columbia to central California.


Remedial Actions: None needed. Not a serious pest.


Re-posted on July 17, 2018


Garden Tip: Deadheading sticky rhodo blossoms

by Leslie Cox; Monday; June 11, 2018

Rhododendron 'Anna Rose Whiney'Deadheading a rhododendron can be quite a chore at the best of times…especially if it is a tall one like our beautiful ‘Anna Rose Whitney’. And we have two of those!

Not only is ‘Anna Rose Whitney’ very tall, but the spent blossoms are very sticky. So sticky, they cling to your gloves, or bare hands if you prefer to deadhead without gloves.

One solution we have found is to don a pair of disposable gloves and slather our fingertips with Vaseline. Works like a dream…the spent blossoms don’t stick at all. However, there is one caveat…you have to keep re-applying more Vaseline.

There is a second solution which I have just recently discovered…deadhead the sticky rhodo blossoms on a rainy day. Preferably after it has been raining for a while and the shrub is thoroughly wet.

I usually stick to inside chores on big rain days in consideration for my arthritis. However, I was falling behind on garden chores so suited up into rain gear and ventured out to tackle some deadheading on the rhodos. I started with a non-sticky rhodo and then moved on to ‘Anna Rose Whitney’ right next to it…without switching to disposable gloves and Vaseline. What a pleasant surprise to find the spent blossoms were not clinging to my garden gloves! (If I could ignore the soaking I was getting from the rain, that is!) Seems wet gloves, as yucky as they are to wear, work every bit as well as Vaseline!

Happy deadheading on those rhodos!

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