Arizona Wildflowers

What are the VARIETIES OF SUNFLOWERS?

Like many people who savor gardening as a hobby, we fancy the bright colors and upbeat feeling a sunflower brings! So, how many varieties of sunflowers are there?

species of sunflowers mirasol

Dwarf Sunflower variety SUNGOLD

Sunflowers

SUNGOLD is a dwarf sunflower

sunflowers in the desert

SUNGOLD aka TEDDY BEAR Sunflower variety

First, SUNFLOWERS belong to the genus Helianthus, which contains over 70 species.  Most varieties are annuals; but, Helianthus incorporates 38 species that are perennial (grow back every year on their own).  With so many cultivars out there one can get overwhelmed quickly!  We’ve identified several Sunflower favorites to make it easier.

Sunflower variety

Holiday Sunflower variety

The variety called “Holiday Sunflower”  has uneven heights and multiple blooms.

common sunflower in desert

Sunflower species HOLIDAY SUNFLOWER

Sunflowers track the sun throughout the day, but when they are fully grown the mature flower-heads face towards the east and no longer move. To grow the best sunflowers they will need full sun!

sunflower varieties

Dwarf sunflower species – Ring of Fire

The variety called Ring of Fire is another dwarf sunflower species that is very uniform and under 3 feet in height.

species of sunflowers with red

RING OF FIRE Sunflower variety

Dwarf sunflowers are a perfect choice if you want to grow sunflowers in a pot or window container.  After choosing the size of the container, add a layer of small rocks to help the soil drain. To grow sunflowers you will need fertile moist soil with heavy mulch.

sunflower variety

Big Smile sunflower species

The variety called Big Smile Sunflower is under 2 feet in height, has multiple blooms and is a Dwarf Sunflower Plant.

small dwarf sunflowers for pots

Sunflower variety BIG SMILE

The sunflower stem is rough and hairy with a circular head of flowers. The head has hundreds of individual flowers which mature into seeds.

sunflower species

Red, Orange and Yellow sunflower – AUTUMN BEAUTY

The sunflower species called Autumn Beauty branches out with a variety of yellow, red and orange colors.

multiple blooms sunflower

Sunflower variety AUTUMN BEAUTY

In the 16th century, sunflower seeds from the Americas were brought to Europe along with sunflower oil and they became a popular cooking ingredient.

ornamental type of sunflower

Tohokujhae Sunflower varieties

Tohokujhae Sunflowers are bright yellow with multiple blooms.  This variety has big double flowers 6-7 inches across.  The height of Tohokujhae sunflowers is 3-6 feet.

teddy bear sunflower species

Sunflower variety TOHOKUJHAE aka Teddy Bear

The leaves of the sunflower can be used as cattle feed and the fiber in the stems can be used in the production of paper.

sunflower species

Variety of Sunflower – SONJA

Some say Sonja Sunflowers are a weaker variety.  The height is uneven and ranges from 3-5 feet.  This sunflower has a dark center with big yellow petals.

wild sunflowers arizona

SONJA Sunflower variety

TIDBITS: The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas, USA.  American Indians had various uses for sunflowers, such as in bread, medical ointments, dyes and body paints.

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12 replies »

  1. This past season something wierd happened with the sunflower seeds I planted, American Giants from Burpee. I thought they were one headed/non branching but they went nuts, branching all over…So I wrote the company to inquire if American Giants were in fact a branching variety. They replied ,No…one head only.
    So I don’t know why it happened..but next year I’ll buy non-Burpee seeds.

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