Color: Yellow to gold
Common name: Sunflower, Common Sunflower
Latin name: Helianthus annuus
Height: <10 feet
Description: What is usually called the "flower" on a mature sunflower is actually a "flower head" (also known as a "composite flower") of numerous florets, (small flowers) crowded together. The outer petal-bearing florets are the sterile ray florets and can be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds. The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. It has a rough, hairy stem supporting the head which consists of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base.
Leaf: The leaf is broad, coarsely toothed, and rough.
Range: Desert Mountains, Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert, California
Habitat: Disturbed areas, scrub, many other habitats
Elevation: < 1900 m.
Flowering time: Jul–Oct
Notes: Helianthus comes from the Greek helios meaning sun and anthos meaning flower. Annus means annual referring to the fact the plant only lives one season.
Horticulture: Given full or nearly full sun (tolerates summer afternoon sun), grows especially well in zones 6 and 17 and also in zones 2, 3, 4, and 5. Given moderate summer watering, and full or nearly full sun (tolerates summer afternoon sun), grows in zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.
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