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Helianthus annuus
Helianthus annuus

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Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
Full Sun
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate


Asteraceae (Compositae)

Coarse, sturdy plants with bold blooms. Includes sunflower. Most are prime subjects for cut flowers. Plants are tough and widely adapted. Perennial kinds spread rapidly, may become invasive. Tall kinds are not for tidy gardens; may need staking. All bloom in summer and fall.

Helianthus annus
Helianthus annus

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Helianthus annuus

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.

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