I can't remember how I fell under the spell of tithonia 'Torch,' also known as Mexican sunflower.
It was an All-America Selections winner back in 1951, but since then has fallen out of favor in home gardens.
When I saw a flat of 'Torch' at Hahn Nursery in Ross I jumped for joy. I only bought three plants, wish I would have purchased more.
They still have a few in the greenhouse and I might just snag them.
The plant grows six feet tall and is filled with velvety orange blossoms which attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
Even thought it's a sun lover, tithonia will bloom with only four to six hours of daylight.
I have it growing in the back of a border in consort with old fashioned phlox and love the color combination.
It's a late bloomer, but these plants have only been in the ground a month and will persist until frost.
If the flowers are left on the plant, it will produce seed which can be saved for next season's sowing.
Even though 'Torch' isn't as popular as it once was, it's an amazing summer blooming annual which is happy in a variety of growing conditions.
Check out the yellow version below, I've had fun growing it too.