HELIANTHUS Annuus (Wild Sunflower) is a robust annual plant that typically grows to a height of 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) and spreads about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) wide. It has sturdy, hairy stems and large, rough-textured leaves. The plant produces a single large flower head at the top of each stem.
The flower head of Wild Sunflower is the focal point of the plant. It is composed of a dark brown center, known as the disc florets, surrounded by bright yellow ray florets. The ray florets are often drooping, creating a distinctive appearance. The flower heads are typically large, reaching up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter.
Wild Sunflower typically blooms in late summer to fall, depending on the specific growing conditions and climate. The flowering period can last several weeks, providing a burst of color and attracting pollinators to the garden. The large and vibrant flowers of Wild Sunflower are highly attractive to pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. They provide a valuable nectar and pollen source. Additionally, the mature seeds produced by the plant are highly favored by birds and small mammals, making Wild Sunflower a valuable addition to wildlife gardens.
Helianthus annuus thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It is relatively adaptable to different soil types, including sandy or loamy soils. Regular watering is needed, especially during dry periods, to support healthy growth and flowering. The tall stature of this sunflower species may require staking to prevent the stems from bending or breaking under the weight of the flower heads.
Wild Sunflower can be grown from seeds. Sow the seeds directly into the garden soil after the danger of frost has passed or start them indoors a few weeks earlier and transplant the seedlings outdoors. Provide adequate spacing between plants to accommodate their size. The plants will benefit from regular watering, especially during dry spells, to support healthy growth and flowering.
Wild Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a quintessential and iconic plant known for its bright and cheerful flowers. It not only adds beauty to gardens and landscapes but also supports pollinators and wildlife. Whether grown for its ornamental value, ecological benefits, or as a source of seeds and food for birds, Wild Sunflower can bring joy and vitality to any garden setting.
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Scientific Name: Helianthus Annuus
Common Name: Wild Sunflower
Plant Type: Annuals
Family: Helianthus- Sunflower
Native Range: Canada, United States, Northern Mexico
Full Growth Height: 24-72"
Spread: 12-36 "
Zones: 2 to 11
Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Blooming Season: Summer
Flower: Showy, Cut Flower
Attracts: Butterflies, Birds
Flower Color: Yellow
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil
Water Requirement: Low, Average
Soil Type: Loam, Sand, Clay, Chalk
Soil pH: Neutral, Alkaline
Gardening Uses: Cutting Garden, Cottage Garden, Prairies and Meadows