Zinnias were a part of my mother’s rock garden, one she carefully designed on the side of a slope that ended at our driveway. Their color is riotous – yellow, red, white, chartreuse, purple, lilac – although I only seem to remember orange. On a warm day, they had a very characteristic fragrance.
Zinnias are bug-resistant, but unfortunately, deer love to eat them, so I haven’t been able to plant any here in NC. Our deer eat practically any flower that isn’t walled off. Butterflies love zinnias, and more’s the pity I can’t plant them, because we have swarms of butterflies on our azaleas in the spring and watching them is a real pleasure.
Zinnias are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America, and are particularly diverse in Mexico. I read they were named for a German botanist, Johann Zinn and are a member of the aster family.
I understand that zinnias are also edible, although the taste is bitter, and they make great cake decorations.
Does anyone have a riot of zinnias in their garden?