Permaculture's A-List Species: Helianthus maximiliani, A Perennial Sunflower
In permaculture, all things should have multi-functions. Topping my list this year is a lesser known sunflower that is perennial, edible, pollinator-friendly, drought tolerant, and just beautiful. It's Helianthus maximiliani, Maximilian Sunflower. I use this species on every project, as does our charity All Hands on Earth. Seeding is easy: sprinkle on the soil and press down lightly; water regularly until the shoots, which are edible, reach about 6-8" in height. Then let it go. I saw these at the University of Washington test perennial garden. The shoots and the tubers are edible. A permaculture powerhouse. You won't be disappointed.