common sunflower USDA PLANTS Symbol: HEAN3
U.S. Nativity: Native
Habit: Forbs/Herbs Crops
Helianthus annuus L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Asterales: Asteraceae
Synonym(s): annual sunflower, sunflower, wild sunflower

Appearance
Helianthus annuus is a coarse, hairy, leafy, fast growing annual that grows from 5-10 ft (1.5-3 m) tall on stiff upright stalks. It is native to dry plains, prairies, meadows and foothills in the western U. S., Canada and northern Mexico.
Foliage
The leaves are large, ovate to triangular, sandpapery and up to 12 in (30.5 cm) long.
Flowers
The 3-6 in (7.6-15 cm) wide sunflowers with orange-yellow rays and brown to purple center disks. Flowers bloom through the summer.
Fruit
The disk flowers give way to the familiar sunflower seeds. The fruits are achenes which contain one seed.
Ecological Threat
H. annuus is native to North America, although Iowa lists it as a State Noxious Weed. It is also considered a weed in many agricultural areas. It is grown commercially for the seeds and the oil extracted from them, both for human consumption and as a wildlife food. H. annuus contains the world's second most important and valuable oil seed. (Coconut oil comes first.) The seeds contain 35-40% oil. They are high in polyunsaturated fat and contain no cholesterol. The seeds are a good source of protein, starch and calories.

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s);
Joy Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); flower bud
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Stem(s);
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Stem(s); Stem
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s); split seed and kernel
Joseph Berger, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.


Invasive Listing Sources: