A few years ago (most likely 4 years ago) I purchased a plant that I knew nothing about. It was in a large pot, at least 1.5 gallons. The tag read Helenium 'Mardi Gras' and since I knew my garden didn't have enough late summer/early autumn blooms, I thought I'd give this one a try.
'Mardi Gras' has done more than I ever expected. It grew quickly although not at all aggressivly. It never flopped, it had wonderful colors in the blooms (as promised on the tag) and most importantly, it passed the division test.
This past spring my clump of Helenium 'Mardi Gras' had grown large enough that I felt I could take a chance and divide it. I simply dug it out of the ground the last week of April and cut it into pieces with my root knife. Those pieces were planted out in different parts of the garden where they took off growing as if nothing had happened to them.
You can see here in this less than artistic photo that Helenium 'Mardi Gras' stands upright. Not one of the newly planted pieces has flopped and every one of them is chock full of blooms right now.
Looking through some gardening catalogues I see there are other varieties of Helenium too. I think it's high time I add some more of these great perennials to my garden.
As a final note, I chose to post about this plant today specifically because Hurricane 'Gustav' is hammering the Gulf coast. My thoughts and prayers are with all the folks in the path of this storm.