Summary Types Of Tithonia Flowers: Tithonia Flowers Benefits & More

Tithonia flowers are a type of flower that is typically white in color. They are often seen planted around the edges of gardens as an accent or border plant. Tithonia flowers have many different shapes, and come in sizes ranging from 1 inch to 18 inches tall. The most common types of tithonia flowers found in North America include Mexican sunflower, Texas star, and Giant Peruvian daisy. Parsley family plants belong to the genus "Tithonia," which includes over 200 species worldwide native to Mexico, Central America and South America.

Tithonia calva 

Tithonia calva  is a popular ornamental herbaceous plant of the sunflower family, Helianthoceae. It is also known as tolilla and Macaya flower. This species is native to Mexico and Central America but has now become naturalized in many tropical regions including India, Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, New Guinea and various islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

It is considered an invasive species in a few tropical countries, including Hawaii. The plant is very attractive and has long been grown as an ornamental. The flower heads are about 5-10 cm wide, with bright yellow disc florets but no ray florets. The leaves are grey-green and lanceolate. It is a short-lived perennial that flowers profusely for several weeks in summer before dying.

This plant is commonly grown as an ornamental in gardens. The seeds are very small and numerous (10,000-15,000 per flower head) and may be distributed by the wind or water. It grows easily from seed, but may be difficult to remove once established.

Tithonia diversifolia 

Tithonia diversifolia  also known as golden tithonia, is a flowering plant in the  Asteraceae family. It is native to Mexico and Central America. This plant has now become naturalised in many tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world, including much of Africa, southern Asia (from India to Indonesia), Australia, and the Pacific islands.

Tithonia diversifolia is an annual with pinnately lobed leaves and yellow flowers. Common names include Mexican sunflower, African daisy, Hawaiian aloe, South African sunflower, Cape marigold and African tulip flower. It has become an invasive species in many tropical and sub-tropical areas.

Tithonia fruticosa

Tithonia fruticosa is a species of Mexican sunflower and is also commonly called desert yellow or Arizona tithonia. It grows in arid regions of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Texas. The plant has been introduced to many other areas including China and the Middle East. It is also known as Sonoran tithonia.

Tithonia fruticosa grows in many different habitats including desserts, stream beds, washes and disturbed areas. The plant grows to a height of two feet and has leaves that are deeply lobed and coarsely toothed. The center leaflet is the largest on the plant and is sometimes as large as three inches across. The leaves are covered in fine hairs that can give the plant a greyish cast. They have silvery undersides and hairy stems. The bright yellow flowers are usually 1.75 inches across and also covered in hair. They have five petals and are arranged in head-like clusters. The yellow flowers produce seeds with fluffy white hairs that move easily on the wind to aid dispersal.

The uses of Tithonia fruticosa date back hundreds of years. The plant was used medicinally by Native Americans including the Pima, Apache and Navajo peoples. They would make a decoction from the plant to use as a laxative and stomach ache reliever. The seeds were used in arrow poison and the leaves were sometimes chewed on long journeys due to their high water content.

Tithonia pedunculata

Tithonia pedunculata is an annual plant found in tropical and subtropical regions of North America, Central America, South America and Asia.

This species can grow up to 2 m tall with opposite leaves. The flowers are bright yellow if receiving enough sunlight but will be orange-reddish if grown in the shade or indoors.

It is a great plant for attracting butterflies, so it is valued by gardeners and horticulturalists as a border planting in butterfly gardens.

Due to its beauty and easy growing it has become one of the most popular plants in Florida containers and many homeowners are using it as ground cover around foundations and pools, on roof tops or as a border around flower beds.

Tithonia helianthoides Bernh

Tithonia helianthoides Bernh is a perennial plant with thick, sometimes woody, erect or decumbent stems.

The flowers are radially symmetrical and can be yellow or orange in color, with a tinge of red.

Although it has been reported that there are six different kinds of flowers on the same plant, in reality all flowers are part of a continuum of morphological variation, with no clear distinction between the different flower types.

The plant is commonly known as Sunflower-daisy or Mexican sunflower. It is not a true daisy (genus Bellis) nor a true sunflower (genus Helianthus).

It is one member of an extensive complex of over 500 species in the genus Tithonia, distributed throughout much of Latin America, from central Mexico to northern Argentina.

Tithonia hondurensis La Duke 

Tithonia hondurensis La Duke  is a small, herbaceous subshrub (up to 3 feet high) in the Tithonia genus. Native to tropical America, this plant is commonly found in sandy open areas along roadsides and waste places. The leaves are basal and alternate; the petiole is less than 1 inch long, and the blade is lance-shaped. The flowers are in a terminal cluster, with male and female flowers on separate plants.

Tithonia hondurensis has yellow-orange to orange-red tubular flowers that are about 1 inch long, and open during the day. The long-lasting flowers attract many butterflies. In the United States, Tithonia hondurensis grows from Texas to Florida and north to Oklahoma. It is also native to Guatemala. The species name comes from Honduras, where it was first collected by Duke in 1964.

Tithonia brachypappa 

Tithonia brachypappa  also known as Mexican sunflower or dwarf sunflower is a widely cultivated species that can be found in most any garden center. These plants are commonly used as an accent around the edges of gardens, and can also be grown in pots when placed near a sunny window.

Tithonia brachypappa will grow to heights of only 3-4 feet tall in the garden, and rarely grow over 10 feet tall even when grown in a pot. These plants have small yellow flowers with a white center. The Mexican sunflower grows best when planted on well-drained soil in full sun, and will do best when given supplemental fertilizer during the growing season. Tithonia brachypappa  also needs to be kept away from cold winds for good growth, but can also grow well in tropical lowland conditions.

Mexican sunflowers can be grown from seed, but the seeds need to be sowed after all threat of frost has passed and during a temperature between 65-85 degrees F. Tithonia brachypappa  can also be propagated by taking cuttings in the summer or by root division in late fall.

Tithonia koelzii 

The common name for Tithonia koelzii is Mexican sunflower or toothed marigold, as well as glowweed and South American silk floss. It is somewhat confusing that this plant has four different common names in English alone, so I will stick with the original: Tithonia koelzii.

The flowers of Tithonia koelzii resemble the sunflower ( Helianthus ), but in no way are related to it. They grow on a plant that has quite a bit larger leaves than most varieties of sunflower: about two feet across, and dark green with some brown spots on them.

Tithonia koelzii grows to a height of about two feet high, even though the flowers are usually much smaller than that. The leaves grow in an opposite pattern from the sunflower and can be as small as four inches long.

Tithonia longiradiata 

Tithonia longiradiata  is a perennial plant found in the Americas. The flowers of these types are yellow with red spots and grow from June to September. It is commonly called annual sunflower, Mexican sunshine flower or Spanish flag because of its bright colours and long petals. Its flowers bloom from July to August and usually grow in clusters of 2-5.

The flower's leaves are around 9 cm (3.5 inches) long, which fold up at night and open during the day. They are alternately arranged on a central stem that grows straight upwards to 1.25 meters tall. One plant may produce over 1000 blooms. They usually grow in a tropical and subtropical climate, but can also be found growing in warm climates of Mexico, the Caribbean Islands and part of the United States.

The plant was named after Michel Jean-Baptiste Thonnard de Montaigu, who was an 18th century French ambassador to Mexico.

Tithonia pittieri 

Tithonia pittieri  is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower family native to Mexico and Central America. Common names include red Velvet flower, yellow-Velvet flower, large Mexican marigold and annual Sunflower.

Tithonia pittieri is an erect herb of up to 1.5 meters in height, with a thick caudex covered with the remains of previous seasons' leaves. The plant produces flower heads with yellow disc florets and red ray florets but varying greatly in color due to the wide range of cultivars available.

Tithonia rotundifolia 

Tithonia rotundifolia is a species of annual flowering plant in the aster family. It is native to North America, where it is widespread across Canada and the United States with additional populations in northern Mexico. The sunbonnet daisy can be found growing in meadows, prairies and disturbed areas such as roadsides.

Although typically found in areas with full sun, it can grow just as well when planted in partial shade as long as there are sufficient nutrients available. This plant has a tendency to grow up through other plants so much so that the host is smothered out.

Tithonia rotundifolia is an upright annual herb growing from 10 to 60 centimeters (4 to 24 inches) tall. It is hairy, glandular, and sticky, and holds its foliage well into fall. Its stems are generally unbranched or sparingly branched, producing a loose inflorescence up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) long with many yellow disc florets in the center and tubular ray florets at the outer edge.

The ray florets are 8 to 10 millimeters (0.32-0.40 inches) long, with a yellow corolla lined with protruding brownish or reddish hairs on the inside of its tubular throat and a yellow style; they are sterile, reduced to vestigial structures and have no true petals. The flower heads are surrounded by three to five lance-shaped, pointed phyllaries that are green or purple in color, hairy on the outer surface, and may have some reddish tips. 

Tithonia tagetiflora

Tithonia tagetiflora is a subspecies of the weedy plant known as either tithonia, or Mexican sunflower. Its common name comes from its homeland in Mexico and Central America. The name comes from Greek words "thitonion" meaning "saffron," referring to the color of this plant's flowers.

Due to its hardiness and resistance to pests, Tithonia tagetiflora is common in various areas of the world. It grows up to two feet tall and bears small yellow flowers with orange spots on its petals. However, the plant's main purpose is to attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The flowers are arranged in an oval shape.

The plant has a distinct growth pattern, allowing it to thrive as an invasive species. This perennial sprouts from its root system and suckers, spreading quickly because it produces large numbers of seeds with high viability. It also reproduces by growing aerial roots that can reach nearby plants and cling on to them to spread. The aerial roots can even form new plants.

Tithonia thurberi Gray 

Tithonia thurberi Gray is a shrub-like perennial plant that belongs to the sunflower family. This species is a native of Mexico and the southwestern parts of the USA. It is typically found in open areas such as fields, prairies, hillsides and grassy slopes. It can be found at an elevation of around 1300-5000 ft. Its yellow disk flowers are surrounded by 6 pointed ray flowers that can be either red or yellow. 

But what is more interesting, the yellow disk flowers and ray flowers on this plant are all bisexual and can reproduce without pollination because they have both male parts (androecium) and female parts (gynoecium).  This enables them to produce seeds without sexual reproduction. The fruits of tithonia are globular, club-shaped with a tapering base.

Tithonia tubiformis

Tithonia tubiformis is a perennial herb that belongs to the Solanaceae family. Its botanical name is often abbreviated as Tithonia sp., and it's known by several different names including silver flower, Mexican sunflower, and trumpet flower. It typically grows as a subshrub, averaging 20 to 40 inches in height and blooms in summer. Although Tithonia flowers aren't distinctive or showy, they have an exotic-looking shape.


What is the difference between Tithonia rotundifolia and Tithonia tagetiflora?

Tithonia rotundifolia has yellow flowers but with reddish brown spots. Tithonia tagetiflora has large, solid yellow petals. 

How long does it take for seeds to grow after pollination with Tithonia thurberi Gray?

It generally takes between 2-5 days for Tithonia thurberi Gray seeds to germinate.


There are many different types of Tithonia, but some look very similar to each other. Like all plants they have been named after people; most who were doctors or people of importance. And that's everything you need to know about types of tithonia flowers.

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