Helianthus ‘Sun4U Lemon Yellow’

Helianthus 'Sun4U Lemon Yellow'

Trial: Annual

Year Trialed: 2008

GOOD QUALITIES:

Good lemon color with dark centers (11) with great customer appeal; Very uniform, cut all of each color in about 1 week; Easy to grow, large brown center with short petals, good stem size; Came into flower early – by July 4th, uniform, medium head – good for bouquet work, no petal drop, good branching with multiple usable stems on each plant; Good germination, harvested 76 stems; All Sun4U were perfectly fine, single suns; 6-8 inch flowers, first in series to flower, rapid germination; Strong branching, good flower size; An interesting feature of this cultivar is the smaller leaf under the flower, it makes for a very attractive display when bunched as the leaves are below the flower head, flowered earlier than the traditional sunflowers that I had planted at the same time; Large bloom on strong stem, pollenless; Nice form, nice size; Stocky, sturdy plants; Pretty; Early to flower.

PROBLEMS:

None (2); Too light of yellow; Very few petals on head, if lost one petal, had to junk flower; Light yellow, did not hold up well in the cooler and was not as good a seller as the orange sunflowers; Petals lack substance, do not hold well and are more prone to insect damage than other cultivars, yellow sunflowers are not popular with consumers; Very attractive to tarnish plant bug more so than darker yellow sunflowers; A few blooms were not held upright; Petals seemed more attractive to insects than other cultivars – produced some holes on petals, slow to produce usable stems after a cut; Flower size varied large to small; I planted too far apart yielding very large heads I could not use in bouquets, I had borer damage to many; Plant height varies quite a bit; I wasn’t impressed with strength of stem or vaselife to grow again; Flower head relatively small for size of plant; Slightly short plant height, petals are wrinkled/crinkled, color fades/bleaches into white on the edges, shorter stems than others in Sun4U series.

SIMILAR CULTIVARS:

Pro Cut Series; Several; The Sunrich series; A tall ‘Pro Cut Lemon’, but short-day responsive.

COMMENTS:

The whole series is a winner and I want to grow it again next year. Better than Pro Cut; Harvested between 8/4-8/20 (direct seeded into the field May 28); Nothing to write home about, not that large headed, not exciting; I will definitely look for more seeds for ‘Sun4U Bicolor’, great color; The Sun4U series is a winner; First bloom of main stem had very short stem, was not usable, although all our sunflowers did this, so it may have been environmentally influenced, slightly slower to produce usable stems in comparison to rest of Sun4U cultivars; Basically a normal cutflower sunflower, created some problems with the wholesale account, this year due to a very cool spring, the sunflower rotations came into flower at about the same time, like everyone, we pick our sunflowers when the first petal is just beginning to lift off, they look pretty similar at this point, the color of the center is about the only thing that looks different – while bunching, it was hard to keep all the different sunflower varieties separate, especially when we were dealing with lower numbers, so we frequently sent out mixed bunches, the retail florist didn’t seem to mind, but the wholesaler did not like the mixed bunches at all! one retail florist specifically asked for this one and the bicolors, would consider growing them again for her; I will only grow branching varieties from now on, I tried to pinch some of all the sunflowers after reading about that in an older quarterly, it does not work for all single varieties, this may be a great flower if planted more closely; Flower head 7 in., hard to use in arrangements; Flowered around August 5 (sowed June 11, transplanted to field June 25), flower diameter 6 in., medium stem thickness.

POSTHARVEST:

We always cut our sunflowers into plain warm well water with a splash of bleach…works for us; Keep the vase solution clean; We only used plain water; Kept well with bleach/water solution, be generous with recutting stems after initial harvest, kept better when more of end was cut indoors; Remove leaves; Cut early and used Floralife.

See separate postharvest report for results from NC State University postharvest evaluations.

TRIAL DATA

Helianthus ‘Sun4U Lemon Yellow’
YIELD (STEMS/PLANT) STEM LENGTH (INCHES) MARKET APPRECIATION RATING – WHOLESALE (1) MARKET APPRECIATION RATING – RETAIL (1) MARKET APPRECIATION RATING – CONSUMER (1) REPEAT AGAIN RATING (1) EASE OF CULTIVATION RATING (1) AVERAGE SPACING (IN2) AVERAGE POSTHARVEST LIFE (DAYS)
AVERAGE 1.7 39.3 2.5 3.2 3.8 3.2 4.4 156 9.2
RANGE OF RESPONSES 1-7 18-60 2-3 3-4 3-5 1-5 2-5 36-648 6-14

(1) 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best. Market ratings are based on sales to wholesalers, retailers, or final consumers direct.

SUPPLIER

Kieft-Pro-Seed
P.O. Box 618
Conway, WA 98238
www.kieftseed.com

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