Helianthus Annuus Sunflower (Su,D,AE,N)
2 – 8 ft H x 2 – 4 ft W. Annual. Bright yellow ray flowers surround a composite (many flowered) center. Blooming mid summer to fall. Great plant to bring in wildlife.
- Blooms: Mid Summer to early fall (Su)
- Moisture: Dry (D)
- Soil Type: All soil types when local ecotype is available (AE)
- Range: Native (N)
- Sun: Full sun
- Nectar in summer for small bees and butterflies, as well as seeds in fall for birds.
Seed – introduced from birds. Purchased seed did not germinate.
In my garden
Started as a volunteer, its a favorite of yellow tanagers. This native sunflower with large leaves and stiff, spiny stems grew to 40″ with multiple flowers.
The photo taken in early August 2020 shows a bird (center). I definitely want more of these lovelies around for feeding. This is also a catapillar host plant that can feed hatchlings!
Propagation methods and availability
I collected some seed to reseed in the prairie, and in 2021 two seedlings sprouted but do not have as dark centers as the first volunteer. Seed purchased from American Meadows did not sprout.
The USDA describes the native plant as follows:
From the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). TheUSDA NRCS National Plant Data
sunflower is an erect, coarse, tap-rooted annual with
rough-hairy stems (2-10 ft) tall. The leaves
are mostly alternate, egg-shaped to triangular, and
entire or toothed. The flower heads are 7.5-15 cm (3-
6 in) wide and at the ends of branches. Ray flowers
are yellow and disk flowers are reddish-brown.
Center Plant Guide https://plants.usda.gov/DocumentLibrary/plantguide/pdf/cs_hean3.pdf
Did You Know?
May 1st is Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day