Types of Sunflowers

With their sunny faces, sunflowers make a striking addition to any garden.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Image courtesy of Bruce Leander for Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

'Pacino' Sunflower

Pacino is a sunflower variety that is small and cheerful.

Species Speak

The species is like a first name for plants and the genus is like the last name. For the Helianthus annuus, the genus is Helianthus and the species is annuus.

Helianthus Annuus is Classic Yellow Sunflower

Helianthus annuus, or sunflower, is a warm season annual possessing a large flowering head. The sunflower is named after its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun.

Multi Stemmed Sunflowers Have Branching Style

Branching varieties bear multitudes of cheerful blossoms and dwarfs are colorful to use in the flower garden. Semi dwarfs range from about 4 to 8 feet tall and are multi stemmed or branching. They are primarily bred for cut flowers

Double Flowered Cushion Styled Rounded Sunflowers

Teddy Bear sunflowers produce a soft, fluffy, cushion like flower on shorter bushy plants. Golden yellow fully double 6 inch blooms are well suited for mild borders, containers and bouquets. Ripe heads are attractive to birds.

Bi Colored Sunflowers Resemble Twirling Pinwheels

Sunflower Pastiche is a hardy bi color annual in a host of evening sun shades, such as yellows, reds and buff, some with a bright yellow or a deep red disc. These medium sized flower heads make fantastic cut flowers.

Cream Colored Sunflowers Provide Elegant Border

A sunflower, Vanilla Ice, bears clusters of light yellow and cream with deep chocolate eyes. Cream colored sunflowers create an elegant border with sunflowers that only reach about 3 feet.

'Earthwalker' Sunflower

Sunflower 'Earthwalker' features solid and bicolor blooms of rusty earth tones, including orange, mahogany, brown and gold. Multiple side branches on 6 to 9-foot plants guarantee a magnificent display.

'Ms. Mars' Sunflower

The 'Ms. Mars' sunflower Helianthus annuus has a dwarf, bushy habit that makes it ideal for pots and containers.

Sunflower 'Goldie'

'Goldie' sunflowers are plants with multiple branches and huge, cheerful, golden-yellow blooms. Save these 5-foot beauties for the back of garden beds and borders, or use them in a cutting garden. The double-petaled flowers measure 8 to 10 inches across.

Sunflower 'Soraya'

'Soraya' is the first sunflower to receive an AAS (All-America Selections) Award, thanks to its bright orange-gold flowers with dark brown centers. The plants are heavily branched but don't need staking, even though they grow to 6 feet tall. The flowers, which grow on 20 inch stems, are attractive to birds and butterflies and are great for cutting.

Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)

Perennial native sunflowers, such as this Maximilian sunflower that grows up to ten feet tall, were once revered by Incas as icons of their sun god. Their seeds were considered sacred by certain Plains cultures — and still are by many birds — and were left on gravesites to nourish the dead on their way to the Happy Hunting Grounds.

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