Helianthus annuus, Common Sunflower, Southwest Desert Flora

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Scientific name: Helianthus annuus Common Sunflower, Hopi Sunflower, Sunflower, Wild Sunflower Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family Synonyms: (Helianthus annuus ssp. Jaegeri, Helianthus annuus ssp Helianthus annuus ssp texanus Helianthus annuus var. lenticularis Helianthus annuus var. macrocarpus Helianthus annuus var. texanus Helianthus aridus Helianthus lenticularis Status: Native Duration: Annual Size: Up to 9 feet. Growth Form: Forb / herb, subshrub; erect main stem; branching on upper growth; rough, hairy. Leaves: Bright green; leaves cordate or heart shaped, large, ovate or lanceolate; margins serrate; long petiole; leaves opposite below, and mostly alternate above. Flower Color: Yellow, with maroon centers; showy, large flowers up to 5 inches across; radiate; ligulateray flowers bright yellow, 13 or more disk flowers numerous; variable, reddish or yellow, anthers brown or black; flower heads few to many; seed is an achene. Flowering Season: June to October. Elevation: 100 to 7,000 feet. Habitat Preferences: Multiple habitat types throughout North America; riparian communities, roadsides and irrigated fields, disturbed areas, scrub, grassland, many other habitats. Recorded Range: Throughout most of North America and Mexico. Introduced nearly worldwide. Found throughout the southwestern United States.

North America & amp; US County Distribution Map for Helianthus annuus .

Genus Information: In North America there are about 50 species and 10 hybrids for Helianthus . Worldwide, The Plant List includes 71 accepted species names and a further 128 species of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 8 species of Helianthus

, California has 11 species, Nevada has > 7 species, New Mexico has 14 species, Texas has 21 species, Utah has 6 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: The Common Sunflower is perhaps one of the most recognized flowers in the world. It is highly variable and readily hybridizes with several other native species and cultivars. In Arizona, Common Sunflower is similar to, and may be confused with the Prairie Sunflower. However, Common Sunflower generally has much larger leaves.

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Sunflowers are favored by many native species of bees and are readily eaten by birds, small mammals and humans. Also see Bumble Bee Conservation.

Southwestern Desert Flora also see Showy Sunflower, Helianthus niveus and Prairie Sunflower, Helianthus petiolaris .