Helianthus ‘Zohar’

Helianthus 'Zohar'

Trial: Annual

Year Trialed: 2009

Good Qualities:

Sturdy stems (4); Rich color (2); Classic colouring with yellow and orange (3); Quick to flower (2); All plants bloom same time; Probably the best of the trials group, rather large heads; Standard single stem orange; Nice, attractive flowers; Very nice, very uniform; Nice flower size for bouquet work; Large stems; Bloomed all season.

Problems:

Appears very daylight sensitive, frequently double bud terminal stem end, short (grown short-day); Same side bud formation problem, as with ‘Tapuz’ and ‘Zahav’, but less pronounced and not as many down the stem; Leaves were very damaged by disease early in the season when conditions were wet, this created a lot of extra work since we had to do so much additional cleaning in order to have saleable stems, even then half the crop was a loss, also these plants were branching, not singles, later plantings did much better with disease, this variety is definitely more suited for hot, dry climates; The field they were planted in was of lower fertility so the flowers were small; My customers just didn’t like the color plus the germination with this one was not good at all; Center ripens before petals totally unfurl; After first cut no new side blooms grew, flower heads are very large!, too large for a bouquet; Germination was good on all but ‘Zohar’. Flowers were nice but they didn’t seem to last as long as the others; These went out as plugs and these and my first crop rotted ….so wet this spring; Cornell Trial 72 days to flower with long day conditions (summer), very sensitive to short days as flowering was 21 days earlier if grown at 12 hours daylength in seedling stage.

Similar Cultivars:

Most orange sunflowers (2).

Comments:

I prefer branching sunflowers so if I miss the timing on picking I get another chance; Harvested 7/16 to 7/27 (Planted in the field 4/25, Zone 5); Would not grow this one again; I’m ashamed to admit that I got these all mixed up with ‘Zahav’ and ‘Tapuz’, none of them did that well for me, but I will probably try ‘Zohar’ again; Tallest compared to ‘Tapuz’ and ‘Zahav’, largest blooms of the three as well, while growing the stems curved, some a lot more than others, this could have been due to wind, light, and/ or being too crowded; once thinned the worst ones out they did not curve more, but the ones that were left in with a little curve did not correct itself in the field; Cornell Trial length: 49 inches under long-day conditions and 23 inches under short days.

Postharvest:

Postharvest in water (2); Cut into hydrator and store in holding; Used Floralife for hard water; Cut early in the day, kept cool and also used Floralife, strip bottom foliage before putting into buckets, seems to help with absorption.

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

Trial Data

Helianthus ‘Zohar’
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 1.2 32.3 3.5 3.7 3.6 3.0 4.2 165 8.6
Range of Responses 1-6 12-72 3-5 2-5 3-5 1-5 2-5 36-1296 7-12

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

Supplier

Genesis Seeds Ltd.

Ashalim, Israel

www.genesisseeds.com

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