Helianthus annuus L.

Common Sunflower
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Common sunflower is a stout annual to 9' with branching rough-hairy stems commonly seen along roadsides.  It has large and showy flower heads, the ligules yellow and the disk flowers purplish-brown.  The leaves are long-petioled, widely lanceolate to ovate, with a serrate margin and an obtuse to acute tip, and are truncate to cordate at the base.  The lower leaves are opposite, and the upper alternate.  The floral heads are typically 2-6" wide and contain 15 or more ray flowers.  Common sunflower blooms from February to October, and frequently inhabits many plant communities and waste and disturbed areas usually at lower elevations but extending to 5000'.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Helianthus 2) annuus.
Pronunciation: hee-lee-AN-thus AN-yoo-us.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.