New sunflower variety keeps blooming until late November, firm claims


A horticulture firm says its experts have bred a sunflower which keeps flowering long after the sun stops shining.

Thompson & Morgan, which is based in Ipswich, Suffolk, says sunflowers have normally stopped blooming by the time September ends.

However, bosses say their new "Sunbelievable" variety flowers from June until the arrival of the first winter frosts.

A spokeswoman said in trials the new variety, which is the product of eight years' work by the firm's breeding team, had bloomed until late November.

She said head plant breeder Charles Valin had wanted to breed a variety which was "long-flowered" and could be used as a bedding plant as well as in containers.

"I was always disappointed by the garden performance of traditional pot sunflowers," said Mr Valin.

"I've crossed the very best with the very best to really boost the plant's performance."

Paul Masters, Thompson & Morgan's head of horticulture, added: "Sunbelievable is an amazing breakthrough in decorative plants for the garden in an area that has been distinctly lacking in innovation in previous years."