NC State Extension

Helianthus ‘Zahav’

Trial: Annual

Year Trialed: 2009

Good Qualities:

Good traditional color (3); Strong stems (3); So similar to ‘Tapuz’ that I could not tell the difference; Another strong- stemmed, large-headed variety, but not a real standout; Standard single stem; Attractive flowers; Traditional form, good necks; Bloomed all season.


Very poor germination (2), only 25% (according to one trialer); Like ‘Tapuz’, this variety produced small side buds that had to be removed to improve appearance/ quality; 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; After first cut no new side blooms grew; A bit short (grown in short days); Germination was good on all but the ‘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 of sunflowers rotted ….so wet this spring; Cornell Trial 77 days to flower with long-day conditions (summer) – very sensitive to short days as plants flowered 22 days earlier if grown at 12 hours daylength in seedling stage.

Similar Cultivars:

Most orange sunflowers (2).


Would not grow this cultivar again; I prefer branching sunflowers so if I miss the timing on picking I get another chance; Harvested 7/27 (Planted in field 4/15, Zone 5); I’m ashamed to admit that I got these all mixed up with ‘Tapuz’ and ‘Zohar’, none of them did that well for me; Second tallest compared to ‘Tapuzv’ and ‘Zohar’, second 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: 62 inches under long days and 36 inches under short days.


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 ‘Zahav’
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 1.5 34.0 3.5 3.5 3.7 3.0 3.9 183 7.7
Range of Responses 1-6 16-66 2-5 2-5 2-5 1-5 2-5 36-1296 7-10

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


Genesis Seeds Ltd.

Ashalim, Israel

Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close