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Wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Wild sunflower Common Names: Annual sunflower, common sunflower, sunflower

Description: This plant releases chemicals that kill off surrounding vegetation.

Habit: Widely branching, stout annual growing up to 8 ft. tall, with coarsely hairy leaves and stems.

Leaves: Alternate, large, 8 in. long, 6 in. wide, droop downwards from long petioles; cordate, ovate-cordate or ovate with fine dentate margins; upper surface is dull green and covered with short stiff hairs. Petioles are light green to reddish green, covered with short stiff hairs and upper surface is channeled.

Stems: Central stem is light green to reddish green, terete and covered with stiff spreading hairs.

Flowers: Daisy-like, 1/8 in. across, central disk florets that are yellow to brown in color, 20-40 ray florets that are yellow in color. Floral bracts are dull green, stiffly hairy and ovate in shape.

Fruit and seeds: Disk florets are replaced by a large seed that is ovoid and somewhat flattened.

Habitat: Native to North America. Can be found in disturbed sites, abandoned fields, pastures, roadsides, along railroads, and waste areas.

Reproduction: By seed and has a tendency to form colonies.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from

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Common Name:

Wild sunflower

Scientific Name:

Helianthus annuus







USDA Symbol: