Coarse, sturdy plants grown for their familiar, colorful blooms in summer and fall. Most are prime subjects for cut flowers. Plants are tough and widely adapted. Perennial kinds spread rapidly and may become invasive. Tall sunflowers may need staking.
The wild ancestor of today’s familiar sunflowers is a coarse, hairy plant with 2–3-in.-wide flowers, native to much of the central United States and southward to Central America. It is the state flower of Kansas and the only plant native to the lower 48 states to have become an important agricultural commodity. It has been bred to produce giant plants as well as a host of smaller (but still significant) varieties for garden decoration and cut flowers. Most sunflowers used in gardens are 3 to 7 ft. tall.
Perennial. Fast-growing hybrid to 6–8 ft. tall and 3–4 ft. wide, with long, narrow leaves. Produces many 2-in.-wide, semidouble, pale yellow flowers with a dark brown center. Use at the back of a casual border or in combination with large ornamental grasses. Takes moist or dry soil. Does not require staking, provided the soil is not too rich and the plants are not overfertilized.
Annual, native to the Mediterranean region. Blooms in winter, spring, or summer, bearing many spikelik...
Fast-growing, bushy plant fromthe Cape region of South Africa.Grows to 15 in. high and wide,with very ...
Native California to British Columbia. Two wild forms: one has coarse stems and sprawls 4–5 in. ...