Went right to your article to find out more about growing zinnias. Thanks for all the details!
We grow zinnias especially for the butterflies (the monarchs and swallowtails love the brightly colored tall varieties with flattish flower heads (landing pads) and the little yellow florets around the centers that hold abundant nectar. And our hummingbirds are attracted to them from afar because of our row of reds and crimsons, a color which the ruby-throateds love.
Not to mention the benefits of mid and late summer zinnia bouquets to brighten these darkening days of autumn.
I did want to add that gardeners who live in climates with humid hot summers (like ours in the Ohio River valley and points south) may benefit from planting the 'Benary's Giant' varieties and mixes, available from Stokes, Johnny's and Rene's garden seeds among other sources. Z. Benary's Giants (also know as Blue Point Strain) stand up the best to the powdery mildew according to many studies, have a wide variety of colors available singly or in mixes, and have nice long stems for cutting. They grow to about 3-4 feet tall so the butterflies can find them easily, too. I love growing them.
I love zinnias! Thanks for the interesting history, Larry. Isn't it wonderful that Mr. Zinn had the curiosity and intelligence to do beautiful things with that plain white flower?
Hi, tabasco, how've you been? Thanks for mentioning the giant mixes--those would be great to add color amongst the purple coneflowers that fade out eventually.