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Annual Sunflower

Helianthus annuus

Plant Data

Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Enormous golden yellow daisy-like flowers, up to 30cm wide. Flattish brown disc florets and pointed bracts.
Fruit:
An oval achene (type of dry, one-seeded fruit, not opening to release its seeds).
Leaves:
Very large, floppy, rough, heart-shaped leaves. The long-stalked leaves have coarsely toothed margins and alternate as they go up their stems. The leaves can be as large as 16 inches long and 8 inches wide.
Maximum Size:
3 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The nutty-tasting seeds can be eaten, either raw or cooked. The young flower buds can be steamed and eaten in a similar manner to globe artichokes. The oil can also be eaten. There are many recipes and edible uses for sunflower seeds.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Very little or no fragrance at all.
Other Names:
American Mary-gold, Comb Flower, Common Sunflower, Garden Sunflower, Golden Flower of Peru, St Bartholomew's Star, Wild Sunflower.
Habitats:
Farmland, floodplains, gardens, riversides, roadsides, wasteland, waterside.