This plant emerged mid spring and flowered mid summer, zone 7. I believe it self seeded from the year before, but I'm not sure. It grew in the community garden plot that I inherited. What is it?
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That's an annual sunflower known as either Mexican Sunflower or by it's botanical name, Tithonia. They're large plants and tend to have a lot of flowers over the summer. It's a good pollinator plant as well. As for caring for your plant, there's not a whole lot you have to do other than keep it watered. Wikipedia has a good article on the genus.