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'Coconut Ice' Sunflower

Like with most other plants I like my sunflowers to be on the usual side. The ones I've previously grown have been either sunflowers with dark petals like 'Cinnamon Sun' or they're giant sunflowers like 'Titan' and 'Mammoth.' This year I was offered 'Coconut Ice' seeds by Burpee and really liked the pictures I saw of this sunflower on the Internet, even if it wasn't so weird, so I decided to give it a try. The petals start off a creamy yellow fading to a nice white with a black center. In the promotional picture for this annual the effect of the dark center and white petals is quite striking.

'Coconut Ice' is an F1 hybrid. F1 stands for Filial1, it is the first filial generation of an offspring resulting from a cross of two different parent plants. As I learned from growing 'Black Cat' petunias this sometimes leads to some veriation in the plant. This sunflower is suppose to grow between 3-5 feet tall.  This, along with being a new introduction, is what I attribute to my blooms not looking exactly like the blooms on the Burpee seed catalog's website or even on the National Garden Bureau's entry for 'Coconut Ice.'

The other factor that could explain my sunflower's lackluster blooms could be cultivation. Aside from rainwater there is no other source of water for plants in the garden. In the early spring I'll direct sow seeds as the rainy season gets here and leave the plants to fend for themselves throughout summer. Perhaps my blooms didn't grow as large because they didn't get the necessary water. The height of my sunflowers fell right in the middle of the estimated height so there's no complaint there. One thing that is interesting to note is that my plants had several blooms per plant growing along the stem. That's not something I noticed in the description of this sunflower online.

'Coconut Ice' may not have been a very impressive grower in my garden but it was a nice addition to the coneflower bed. It's height made it a good candidate to grow between the taller plants in the back of the bed and the shorter daylilies in the front and really helped to brighten up the area. I'll sow the rest of the seeds that Burpee sent me next year and give them more water and see if that makes a difference in the size of the bloom. Growing this sunflower reminded me of growing sunflower 'Jade' and makes me want to see if that hybrid su is still around.

Did you grow this sunflower this year? What did you think of it? Were you blooms as large as the pictures in Burpee's catalog? If you have any recommendations for sunflowers to try leave them in the comments. I'm always looking for weird and unusual annuals to add to the garden. They're the cheapest way of experimenting with color in the garden.


  1. Coconut Ice caught my attention in the first few pages of the Burpee catalog. I resisted because they hyped it as the whitest sunflower. While it might be smaller, If your looking for a white then a handful of 'Italian White' is the way to go.
    While I like the white. my favorite is the burgundy 'Moulin Rouge'.

  2. Hi Patrick,

    I've seen 'Italian White' and think it's a cool little sunflower. I think 'Moulin Rouge' may have been one of the dark cultivars that made me start growing them. It's a beauty and a real conversation piece.

  3. Am not normally a fan of sunflowers, but I love this one! Hope it does well for you next year. I may even try it, if my cutting garden goes well. thanks.

  4. Are the flowers fertile? Since they are F1 plants it would be interesting to see what two bred together will produce? Any recessive traits should show up again and could be really interesting! I hope the bees were busy, I hope they reseed themselves, I hope they are fertile, and I hope you get something unique and interesting next year!

  5. I planted a sunflower with similar coloring one year. Vanilla something or other. When they self seeded, they returned to the basic sunflower color. Mine grow wild. I don't water any of them and if I don't pull them, they'll grow in the cracks of the patio. I have one this year that must be 11 feet tall. I plan to measure it when I take it down this fall. It's not the big seed head ones that you eat. Just an ordinary ornamental.

  6. @Webb, At the size that mine grew they made great cut flowers.

    @Jennie Wojtaszek, They produced seed which the squirrels made good work of. Now you have me wondering what kind of offspring would result from these.

    @Gardener on Sherlock, You reminded me that I planted a cool sunflower that ended up reverting like yours. It looks a little messy and wild, but I keep it around just because I consider them to be "free plants."

  7. I grew the coconut ice sunflower this year and got multiple blooms on each plant, They grew in so calif and were appox 3-4 feet in height. I did not see any seeds after the plant was ready to be pulled. Do anyone know if this hybird produces seeds? And the Burpee catalog picture was simalar,



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