A member of the Black-eyed-Susan family, this native perennial turns heads. The name is no mistake, the Maxima does everything to the max. The powdery-blue foliage produces leaves the range 1’ to 2’in lenth, and not to be out done, in mid-summer, it sends up a flower which easily tops 6’. The flowers have intense yellow petals which dangle from dark brown seed head centers and the flower stalk is so sturdy it rarely needs staking. The Maxima can also handle our intense heat and isn’t overly picky about soil conditions. The plant spreads by underground rhizomes, but not to the sometimes aggressive state of its much smaller relative. This plant is beautiful planted en mass, in the back of a boarder or as a single specimen, but no matter how it is planted, people will stop and ask about it.
I love my Maxima. When the foliage emerges in the spring, it’s almost like having a blue Hosta in full sun, then when the flower shoots out in the summer,
I am in love with the color and shape, but my favorite time of year is when the seeds have matured and I can sit and watch the goldfinches feast on the seeds as they ride along with the swaying stalks.