Helianthus Annuus

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Asterales Asteraceae Helianthus Helianthus annuus
  • Plant Type: Annual, erect herb.
  • Common Names: Common Sunflower.
  • Color: Yellow to gold, brown/copper, orange.
  • Flower Dimensions: 3-6 inches.
  • · Flowering Season: Summer.

Helianthus Annuus

Characteristics of Common Sunflower

Helianthus annuus is an annual herb with an erect, hardy, and stout stem. This plant belongs to the Asteraceae family.

Asters Flower

  • The erect stems of the Common Sunflower are usually rough to hairy.
  • The leaves of the Common Sunflower are simple, alternate, and lanceolate. The leaves are hairy, rough, and green. They can be up to 12 inches in length.
  • The flowers of the Helianthus annuus are in head inflorescence. The ray flowers surround the central disc. There are 7-20 petals per ray.
  • The fruit of the common Sunflower is achene. The seeds are ovoid and flattened.
  • The H. annuus is a fast-growing and low-maintenance plant.

Interesting Facts about Common Sunflower

Helianthus Annuus Flowers

  • Common Sunflower[1] is the state flower of Kansas. It is also the national flower of Russia and Ukraine. In Chinese culture[2], the Sunflower symbolizes good luck and lasting happiness.
  • The genus name Helianthus is derived from the Greek words “helios” and “anthus” which means “sun” and “flower” respectively. Due to the resemblance to the life-giving sun, the Incas worshipped the sunflowers.
  • According to some studies[3], H. annuus are allelopathic to weeds.
  • Helianthus annuus[4] contains significant properties beneficial for great hair and skin. It is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, K, and E. Omega 6 is also found in the oil. This is used to treat eczema, acne, and scarring.
  • According to research[5], sunflower oil and seeds have high antioxidant content. Human consumption of sunflower oils and seeds helps eliminate free radicals that might cause diseases.

Sunflower is the common name of one of the plants in the Helianthus genus in the flowering Asteraceae family (known as the asters, daisies, or sunflower family).

It is also often used explicitly about the annual Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower characterized by large flower heads (inflorescences) and a long stem. The Helianthus genus comprises more than 50 sunflower species[1], all native to North America.

Helianthus annuus has an erect, thick, and hairy stem that forms a large inflorescence. The plant has large, broad lower leaves that are oval and alternately arranged on the stem, and narrower, smaller upper leaves that are individually attached to the stem.

The inflorescence is a large disc with a 10 to 30 cm diameter and consists of 16 to 30 golden yellow florets. Sunflowers are annual plants harvested after a growing season and can reach heights of 1 to 3.5 m (3.3 to 11.5 ft).

Suggested Reading: All types of flowers

Cite This Page

BioExplorer.net. (2023, October 02). Helianthus annuus. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/helianthus-annuus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Helianthus annuus" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/helianthus-annuus/.
BioExplorer.net. "Helianthus annuus" Bio Explorer, October 02 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/helianthus-annuus/.
Key References
  • [1]“Helianthus annuus (Common Sunflower, Sunflower, Wild Sunflower) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox”. Accessed April 19, 2023. Link.
  • [2]“Sunflowers: The Facts, Meanings and Myths | Interflora”. Accessed April 19, 2023. Link.
  • [3]“Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are Allelopathic to Weeds | Weed Science | Cambridge Core”. Accessed April 19, 2023. Link.
  • [4]“Sunflower oil benefits for hair and skin: (helianthus annuus) – Aeolis Skin Care”. Accessed April 19, 2023. Link.
  • [5]“Oilseed crop sunflower (Helianthus annuus) as a source of food: Nutritional and health benefits – PMC”. Accessed April 19, 2023. Link.


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