Zinnia is a genus within the Asteraceae family, native to Mexico and central and south- western America. The first Zinnias were brought to Europe by the Spaniards in the 1500ís. This plant was known throughout Europe by the mid-1600ís, but it was not cultivated much. Dr. Johann Gottfried Zinn of Gottingen University in Germany wrote the first description of the plant and because of this, the zinnia is named for him. In 1798, the first zinnia seed was offered for sale to the public in the United States. Americans were not interested. The French, however, were becoming interested in the zinnia and by 1856 had developed the first truly double forms of the flower.
Zinnia are annuals, perennials or sub-shrubs that showcase a brilliant display of vibrant colour long into the summer over lance-shaped foliage and long, elegant stems. Flowers will closely resemble that of a daisy, with double varieties looking more like a Dahlia, each with impressively large stamens.
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