The Main Plant entry for Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Sunflowers.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Uses: Dye production
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: Ca (Calcium)
Mn (Manganese)
Zn (Zinc)
Cu (Copper)
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Sow in situ
Pollinators: Flies
Bees

Image
Common names
  • Common Sunflower
  • Sunflower
  • Kansas Sunflower

Photo Gallery
Location: My garden in eastern Massachusetts
Date: 2017-09-09
  • Uploaded by LCL
Location: central Illinois
Location: South Carolina
#pollination
Location: Charleston, SC
Date: 2013-06-10
Location: My Garden, Utah
Date: 2014-09-20
Location: IL
Date: 2015-09-01
#Pollination Golden Northern Bumble Bee & Common Eastern Bumble B
Location: In my garden in Oklahoma City, OK
Date: 06 - 01 - 2008
Annual Sunflower Composite
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2017-12-21
Location: My Garden, Utah
Date: 2014-09-20
Location: an Oklahoma City garden
Date: 2017-09-04
Bees are buzzin'
Location: my garden, UT
Date: 2016-07-18
#Pollination
Location: Maine
Location: In my garden in Oklahoma City, OK
Botanical interpretation of the Fibonacci Sequence
Location: Romania
Date: 2021
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2015-08-29
Location: my Zone 7b garden in North Georgia Mountains
Date: 2023-07-05
This multi-flower sunflower planted itself in my garden.  It is o
Location: Ontario Canada
Date: 2020-08-09
Zoom in 👍☺️
Location: Nora's Garden - Castlegar, B.C.
Date: 2018-07-17
A wonderful sideview.
Location: Fairfax, Virginia (April 2022)
Date: 2022-04-25
Location: Home pasture
Date: 2020-07-23
By KYgal
Uploaded by jimard8
Location: Ingleside. Illinois
Date: 2021-07-25
Location: in my friend's garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 09-22-2015
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.
Date: Summer 2000
Common Sunflower against the Texas sky.
Location: France
Image by Spencer C. H. Barrett, University of Toronto
Location: Maine
Date: 8/25/2021
Sunflower Collection
Location: Garland, TX
Date: 2017-07-02
#pollination
Location: My Garden, Arvada, Colorado
Date: July
Sunflower - variety Tiger's Eye Mix from Seeds of Change
Location: Maine
Date: 9/5/2020
Location: Maine
Date: 9/5/2020
Location: Maine
Date: 9/5/2020
Location: Chaumussay, France
Date: 2017-08-04
Fields full of sunflowers in this area of France
Location: Sebastian,  Florida
Date: 2011-06-10

Date: 2017-08-04
Location: Richmond, TX     ( Zone 9a - In my daughter's backyard )
Date: April 22, 2020
Texas Sunflower and Monarch Butterfly
Location: my Zone 7b garden in North Georgia Mountains
Date: 2023-07-05
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-08-13
tall screen
Location: Glendale, AZ
Date: 2020-09-10
Sunflower
Uploaded by ckatNM
Location: Hillsborough, NC, USA
Date: 2017-07-05
Uploaded by sedumzz

Sun of the Griffin
Location: SD
Date: 4/22
Rays of Laughter
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-08-23
#pollination
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2013-07-10
Location: Nora's Garden - Castlegar, B.C.
Date: 2012-07-25
The birds supplied the seed.
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-08-13
Location: My Garden
Date: 2016-09-13
Pollen producer
Location: Granite Falls, WA
Date: 2014-06-07
Location: Oregon
Date: 2010-07-13
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 2022-08-20
Location: Glendale, AZ
Date: 2020-08-27
Sunflower
Uploaded by PoppyLady420

Date: 2015-08-08
some kind of dwarf sunflower from CVS seed kit

Date: 2018-08-01

Date: 2018-08-05
Location: an Oklahoma City garden
Date: 2017-09-09
The Sunflower gets a visitor
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-08-14
w/ 3 tiny bees

Date: 2015-08-15

Date: 2015-08-15
Location: Imperial valley, CA 
Date: 2024-05-14

Date: 2018-09-27
Location: Maine
Date: 9/5/2020

Date: 2008-08-22
Location: South Jordan, Utah, United States
Date: 2020-08-09
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-09-01
#pollination   Monarch
Location: In my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: June 1, 2008
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) in Oklahoma City
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 8/27/20
Location: My Garden
Date: 2012-11-15
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date: 2021-06-07
Location:  
Date: 2015-11-24

Date: 2011-10-04
Location:  Back of My Garden , dry unplanted hill 
Date: 2015-07-02
 A self sown Wild Sunflower , Goldfinch likely , garden help from
Location: in my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 09-01-2017
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Location: Easton, Pa. Backyard
Date: 2022-08-22
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Date: 2021-09-18
Location: Mason, New Hampshire
Date: 2019-08-17
photo credit: Robert Duval
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2020-04-23
Uploaded by fredricp1

Date: 2008-08-22
Location: Killeen,Tx
Date: 2021-07-28
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2015-06-30
Garden volunteers
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 8/27/2020
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 8/27/20
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2010-09-09
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-09-02
close up of center disk
Location: The Natural State
Date: 2019-08-24
Location: Easton, Pa. Backyard
Date: 2022-08-27

Date: 2011-06-11
Uploaded by sedumzz
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Date: 08/15/18
Bright bloom
Location: Southern Indiana
Date: 7/18/2018
Location: South Dakota
Date: 2019-08-19
Location: DISCLAIMER: This is an old photo from an old phone. I don't know why, but the photos look "deep fried". sorry about that.
Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Date: 2022-04-17
Location: in my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 07-07-2018
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Location: in my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 06-01-2008
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Location: in my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 09-01-2017
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Location: Nora's Garden - Castlegar, B.C.
Date: 2011-12-08
Adorned with Hoar Frost.
Location: Arkansas/The Natural State
Date: 2019-08-12
Finally, after losing an entire crop, we have 2 sunflowers buddin
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Date: 2014-07-15
Uploaded by RootedInDirt
Location: Pennsylvania
Date: 2019-08-19
Helianthus annuus
Location: Brownstown PA 17508
Date: 2020-08-14
I had to bend under to get a pic of this heavy seedhead w/ a few
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Date: 2016-05-02
Location: Fairfax, VA | July, 2022
Date: 2022-07-26

Date: 2013-08-29

Date: 2015-08-15
Location: my garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2008-07-27
Self-set from bird food in my garden..

Date: 2015-08-15
Location: nature reserve, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2010-07-23
Location: Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve, California
Date: 2008-08-14

Photo courtesy of: Jon Sullivan
Location: Killeen,Tx
Date: 2021-07-21
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Date: 2014-08-19
community garden
Location: In my zone 8 garden
Date: 2013-07-16

Date: 2015-08-02
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2018-08-17
#polination - moth
Location: Maine
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Maine
Date: 2022-08-11
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-08-19
Location: Maine
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Home
Date: 2016-08-16
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2011-06-10 
A gift from the birds.
Location: Palos Verdes CA
Date: 2020 April 1st
Sunflower Sprout.

Date: 2015-09-14
Location: DISCLAIMER: This is an old photo from an old phone. I don't know why, but the photos look "deep fried". sorry about that.
Location: DISCLAIMER: This is an old photo from an old phone. I don't know why, but the photos look "deep fried". sorry about that.
Location: N. Fl.
Date: 2017-04-01
Location: In my zone 8 garden
Date: 2012-07-23
Location: Arkansas/The Natural State
Date: 2019-08-12
Location: Kyle
Date: 2019-08-05
Location: Kyle
Date: 2019-08-05

Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-06-16
unwanted volunteer seedling

USDA
Location: Coastal San Diego County 
Date: 2017-04-13
Location: Garden
Date: 2017-10-22
Ready to feed the birds in winter
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2015-09-27

Date: 2013-08-29
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2011-09-30
Location: MN
Date: 2016-08-12
Flower
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-06-01
re-seeded area is thick w/ plants

Date: 2013-10-12

Date: 2011-10-05
Location: Whitmore Lake, MI
Date: 2017-08-16
Location: Whitmore Lake, MI
Date: 2017-08-16
Location: Whitmore Lake, MI
Date: 2017-08-16
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2012-04-16 
Another Sunflower (from seed scattered by birds from the bird-fee
Uploaded by DaisyRyder
Location: 9a
Date: 2018-07-14
#pollination
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2012-04-21 
Another gift from the birds!

Date: 2013-08-12
Location: Knoxville TN
Date: 2018-07-04
Uploaded by tnbee
Location: Indiana  Zone 5
Date: 2012-07-26
88 open blooms on one plant
Location: South Dakota
Date: 2019-08-19
Location: South Dakota
Date: 2019-08-19
Location: in my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 08-13-2017
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Location: in my garden in Oklahoma City
Date: 08-16-2017
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Date: 2016-07-21
Location: Coastal San Diego County 
Date: 2017-03-20
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2019-08-06
Sunflower 023
Location: Sangamon Co. Il.
Date: 2018-05-21

Date: 2013-09-25

USDA

USDA

Date: 2013-08-29
Location: MN
Date: 2016-08-12
Leaf

Date: 2013-08-29
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Date: 2014-11-06
Evening Sun Mix Sunflower
Location: Sangamon Co. Il.
Date: 2018-05-20
Location: Sangamon Co. Il.
Date: 2018-05-20

Date: 2015-08-02

Date: 2013-08-27
Location: Whitmore Lake, MI
Date: 2017-08-16
Location: Whitmore Lake, MI
Date: 2017-08-16
Location: Home
Date: 2016-08-16
Location: Home
Date: 2016-08-16
Location: Home
Date: 2016-08-16
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Date: 2011-09-28

Date: 2015-08-04

Date: 2015-08-07

Date: 2015-08-13

Date: 2006-05-24
USDA

Date: 2013-08-12

USDA

Date: 2013-08-12

USDA

USDA

USDA

Date: 2013-08-27

Date: 2013-08-27

credit: Prenn

Date: 2013-08-27

Date: 2013-08-27

Date: 2013-08-27

Date: 2013-08-27

Date: 2013-09-25

Date: 2015-09-01

Date: 2013-09-25
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-07-09
Location: In my zone 8 garden
Date: May,  2011
Location: Arkansas
Date: 2019-07-30
Sunflower seedling
Location: Gent, Belgium
Date: 2013-07-22
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Comments:
  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Oct 7, 2011 3:39 PM concerning plant:
    Helianthus annuus is an annual that is native to the Americas. It grows 6 to 12 feet in height and has hairy oval or heart shaped leaves and hairy stems. This common sunflower requires full sun and is drought tolerant. I haven't grown sunflowers from seed in a long while, but there have always been a few sprouting in the yard for the past few years, compliments of the backyard birds! I don't know anyone who doesn't like the sunflower. If those big, beautiful heads of flowers don't make you smile, I don't know what will.
  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 30, 2011 11:51 AM concerning plant:
    Each year I like to grow some sunflowers in my garden. They actually self seed, so I can just leave a few plants where I want them. I grow them not only because they are pretty, but also to attract the backyard songbirds. As soon as the flowers start to get ripe seedheads, goldfinches arrive to eat them. They will keep coming as long as there are seeds for them to pluck. So if you want to attract goldfinches, grow sunflowers, which are an excellent alternative to a feeder.

    Located on Long Island, NY zone 6/7, where it is humid in the summer.
  • Posted by Wally2007 (Connecticut - Zone 6a) on Jun 9, 2020 6:53 AM concerning plant:
    I am in my second year with my dozen or so sunflowers. When I plant I have sowed as many as three seeds in one hole. I usually plant a variety of sunflowers and they are really beautiful when fully developed. Given that scenario when they get to a good size I have to stake them due to the heavy winds I get in my backyard. They are about 7 or 8 inches in growth at this time and I just can't wait to see them fully grown again.
    Any advice with my care in raising them would be greatly appreciated.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 21, 2013 1:53 AM concerning plant:
    "The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas. It possesses a large inflorescence (flowering head), and its name is derived from the flower's shape and image, which is often used to depict the sun. The plant has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. The heads consist of many individual flowers which mature into seeds, often in the hundreds, on a receptacle base. From the Americas, sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Leaves of the sunflower can be used as cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production.

    To grow best, sunflowers need full sun. They grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil with heavy mulch. In commercial planting, seeds are planted 1.5 feet apart and 1 inch deep. Sunflower "whole seed" (fruit) are sold as a snack food, raw or after roasting in ovens, with or without salt and/or seasonings added. Sunflowers can be processed into a peanut butter alternative, sunflower butter. In Germany, it is mixed with rye flour to make Sonnenblumenkernbrot (literally: sunflower whole seed bread), which is quite popular in German-speaking Europe. It is also sold as food for birds and can be used directly in cooking and salads. American Indians had multiple uses for sunflowers in the past, such as in bread, medical ointments, dyes and body paints.

    The sunflower is the state flower of the US state of Kansas."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

  • Posted by KFredenburg (Black Hills, SD - Zone 5a) on Jun 23, 2020 12:13 PM concerning plant:
    This plant's flower is the state flower of Kansas.
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 3, 2014 2:19 PM concerning plant:
    Helianthus annuus is a larval host plant for the Spring Azure, Silvery Checkerspot, and Painted Lady Butterflies.

    According to the NPIN, this plant has special value to native bees while its seed heads attract a wide variety of birds.

  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on May 9, 2012 6:19 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get golden pollen from this plant. Also a reliable source of hnoeydew.
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paleohunter On April 24, 2021 Obtained plant
https://www.seedsource.com/cat...
MySecretIslandGarden On February 23, 2023 Bloomed
Seeds from the bird feeder are growing and blooming wherever they landed. It's fun to watch how the birds have become my assistant gardeners.
MySecretIslandGarden On July 28, 2022 Bloomed
The volunteer sunflowers have started to bloom. The seeds were spread from the birds from the feeders.
Retro67 On March 17, 2024 Seeds sown
Included in "Spring garden/pollinator mix. Seeded on south faces on bare soil
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