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Genus Helianthus Family Asteraceae

Description: Annual and perennial herbs; stems erect.

Leaves opposite below, often alternate above, sessile or petiolate, simple, entire to lobed.

Heads large, terminal and solitary or few in a cyme, pedunculate; involucral bracts herbaceous, 3-seriate; receptacle flat or convex, with non-persistent scales. Ray florets in 1 row, female, fertile or sterile, ligulate, yellow. Disc florets bisexual, fertile, tubular, 5-toothed, brownish, purple, or yellowish.

Achenes compressed; pappus absent or of 2 or more non-persistent scale-like awns, rarely small persistent scales also present.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 67 species, North & South America. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), all mainland States. Sunflowers

Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves scabrous or hispid, ligules more than 12 mm long2
Leaves glabrous, ligules c. 10 mm longHelianthus ciliaris
2Leaves alternateHelianthus annuus
Midstem leaves opposite
                       Back to 1
Helianthus tuberosus

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