A neighbour has this wonderful shrub in full blossom even now in mid-November here in Toronto. Can you help me identify it. It is a dense shrub that is just less than 1 foot tall and 1 foot wide. It almost looks like a miniature cosmos?
Thank you for your inquiry. What a treat to see something in bloom this late in the season. Trying to ID plants from photos is quite difficult. That being said it appears that the plant is question is Bidens ferulifolia Yellow Charm. This plant is a tender perennial ( hardy in zones 8-11) and grown as an annual in our zone. Bidens is a member of the Asteraceae family with daisy-like flowers that occur from early summer to mid- or late fall. The blossoms are attractive to bees and butterflies and require little deadheading.
This plant is an excellent choice for adding colour to any sunny site. It grows best in average to fertile soil that’s moist but with good drainage. It tolerates high summer temperatures and moderate drought. If the plant gets too leggy or encroaches onto nearby plants, it may be cut back hard to rejuvenate.
Bidens can be propagated either from seed or from stem cuttings. Seeds can be started indoors before the last frost date then transplanted outdoors in a sunny location once your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing. Here is an excellent reference which gives step by step instructions along with photos on how to propagate from stem cuttings.
Here is more information on this beautiful tender perennial.