What is a Sunflowers Flower?
The scientific name of common sunflower is Helianthus annus, common sunflower is grown as a crop for edible oil and edible fruit. The wild sunflower is a widely branched annual plant with multiple flower heads. However, the domestic sunflower has only one large flower atop an unbranched stem.
The plant has a rough hairy stem, reaching a typical height of 3 m (9.8 ft). The tallest sunflower on record achieved 9.17 m (30.1 ft). Sunflower leaves are broad, coarsely toothed, rough and mostly alternate. They can be yellow, red, orange or any other color. The flowers located in the center of the head are called disc flowers. These mature into fruits which are called seeds.
Most cultivars of sunflower are variants of Helianthus annuus, but four other species (all perennials) are also domesticated.
- The Maximillian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) is one of 38 species of perennial sunflower native to North America.
A branching perennial herb, growing from a stout rhizome and reaches heights from 0.5–3m (1+1⁄2–10 ft). The slender, tall, erect stems and alternately-arranged leaves are covered in rough hairs. The lance-shaped leaves are narrow, pointed, folded down the midvein.
- The Jerusalem artichoke or Helianthus tuberosus is related to the sunflower, another example of perennial sunflower.
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunroot, sunchoke, wild sunflower, or earth apple, is a species of sunflower native to central North America. It is cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.
- The Mexican sunflower is Tithonia rotundifolia. It is only very distantly related to North American sunflowers. Tithonia is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower tribe within the family Asteraceae.
Tithonia has its center of distribution in Mexico. Tithonia rotundifolia makes a good fresh cut flower, flowering in mid to late summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The distinguishing feature of the genus is the peduncle, which is fistulose (meaning hollow and flaring towards the apex). Plants are thick annual or perennial herbs or shrubs.
- False sunflower refers to plants of the genus Heliopsis.
Heliopsis is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the sunflower family, native to dry grasslands in North and South America. The sunflower-like compound flowers are usually yellow, up to 8 cm (3 in) in diameter, and are produced in the summer.
There are many types of sunflowers, ranging from giants that reach 14 feet or higher to dwarfs that stay under a foot tall. Here are some of our favorites:
‘Russian Mammoth sunflower‘ is the traditional giant sunflower, an aptly named variety that can grow to more than 12 feet tall with blooms the diameter of dinner plates. Its seeds are good for snacks for you or birds.
‘Autumn Beauty sunflower‘ is a gorgeous cultivar that grows branching stems of blooms in tones of yellow, orange, bronze and red. Blooms are 4″ to 6″ across on plants that grow to 6 feet tall.
‘Lemon Queen sunflower‘ has pale yellow blooms with chocolate brown centers that are 4″ to 5″ in diameter. Plants are multibranched and grow to 6 feet tall.
‘Teddy Bear sunflower‘ is a tiny variety that grows just 2 feet tall. This small sunflower is ideal for containers and small gardens. Its soft, fluffy gold blossoms are 6 inches across and make good cut flowers.