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University of Illinois Extension
Beyond Impatiens and Petunias

Annuals for Sunny, Dry Sites

Once established, these annuals will provide good color for hot, dry sites.

Medallion Flower

Medallion Flower - Melampodium paludosum

Height: 10-15 inches.

Width: 12-18 inches.

Bloom: Yellow.

Cultivars: 'Derby', 'Lemon Delight', 'Million Gold', 'Showstar'.

Notes: Compact, free flowering.

Creeping Zinnia

Creeping Zinnia - Sanvitalia procumbens

Height: 10-12 inches.

Width: 12-24 Inches.

Bloom: Yellow with dark centers.

Cultivars: 'Million Suns', 'Yellow Sprite'. 'Yellow Carpet', 'Mandarin Orange'.

Notes: Compact, free flowering.


Vinca - Catharanthus roseus

Height: 10-15 inches.

Width: 10-12 inches.

Bloom: assorted colors.

Cultivars: 'Cora' series, 'Titan' series, 'Pacifica' series', 'Cobra' series, 'Jams 'n Jellies'.

Notes: Continuous flowering on plants with shiny green foliage. Likes heat. Plant when soils and air temperatures are warm. Make sure drainage is good.


Lantana - Lantana camara

Height: 12-14 inches.

Width: 10-18 inches.

Bloom: Multi-colored flowers.

Cultivars: 'Little Lucky' series, 'Landmark' series, ' 'Lucky' series, 'Dallas Red'.

Notes: Reliable, shrub-like annual, continuous flowering, coarse foliage.


Helenium - Helenium amarum

Height: 12-14 inches.

Width: 24-28 inches.

Bloom: Yellow.

Cultivars: 'Dakota'.

Notes: Reliable, continuous flowering, fine textured foliage.

Globe Amaranth

Globe Amaranth - Gomphrena globosa

Height: 6-36 inches.

Width: 9-36 inches.

Bloom: Red, white, lavender.

Cultivars: 'Pinball' series, 'Fireworks', 'Gnome' series, 'Audrey' series. 'Las Vegas' series.

Notes: Free flowering, gumball shaped flowers. Very heat and drought tolerant. Good dried flower.

Mexican Sunflower

Mexican Sunflower - Tithonia rotundifolia

Height: 28-30 inches.

Width: 18-24 inches.

Bloom: orange.

Cultivars: 'Fiesta del Sol'.

Notes: Compact plant, daisy like flowers coarse textured foliage. Attracts butterflies.


Gazania - Gazania rigens

Height: 8-10 inches.

Width: 6-8 inches.

Bloom: Assorted colors.

Cultivars: 'New Day' series, 'Kiss' series, 'Daybreak' series.

Notes: Multicolored, pinwheel-like flowers, interesting strap-like, silver gray foliage.

Star Flower

Star Flower - Pentas lanceolata

Height: 12-24 inches.

Width: 10-18 inches.

Bloom: White, pink, lavender.

Cultivars: 'Butterfly' series, 'New Look' series, 'Starla' series.

Notes: Clusters of star shaped flowers on compact plants.

Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower - Gaillardia pulchella

Height: 10-12 inches.

Width: 12-15 inches.

Bloom: Orange and yellow.

Cultivars: 'Sundance Bicolor', 'Yellow Plume', Lollipop' series.

Notes: Interesting globe shaped flowers.


Verbena - Verbena x hybrid

Height: 8-10 inches.

Width: 12-15 inches.

Bloom: Assorted colors.

Cultivars: 'Tuscany' series, ' Quartz' series, ' Obsession' series, 'Enduro' series.

Notes: Clusters of flowers on compact bushy to spreading plants.

Rose Moss

Rose Moss - Portulaca grandiflora

Height: 6-8 inches.

Width: 14-18 inches.

Bloom: Assorted colors.

Cultivars: 'Sundial' series, ' Happy Trails' series, ' Happy Hour' series.

Notes: Low growing, ground cover plant, double flowers. Succulent foliage.


Purslane - Portulaca oleracea

Height: 3-4 inches.

Width: 14-18 inches.

Bloom: Assorted colors.

Cultivars: 'Toucan' series, ' Fairytales Cinderella', 'Rio' series, 'Cupcake' series.

Notes: Large flowers, foliage larger and more succulent than rose moss.


Black-Eyed-Susan - Rudbeckia hirta

Height: 18-25 inches.

Width: 18-24 inches.

Bloom: Yellows, oranges, rust.

Cultivars: 'Indian Summer', 'Becky' series, 'Toto', 'Tiger Eye Gold', 'Prairie Sun', 'Denver Daisy', 'Cappuchino'.

Notes: The annual version of Black-Eyed-Susan with larger flowers.


Bidens - Bidens ferulifolia

Height: 10-14 inches.

Width: 8-10 inches.

Bloom: yellow.

Cultivars: 'Sun Drop', 'Sun Beam', 'Sun Kiss'.

Notes: Small star like flowers on compact plants with feathery foliage.