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Helianthus annuus L.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Common Sunflower

Helianthus annuus L. APNI*

Description: Annual or biennial herb with taproot, 1–2 m high; stems often branching towards apex.

Leaves ovate to ± cordate, 3–20 cm long, 1–10 cm wide, margins entire to toothed, surfaces hispid to scabrous; upper leaves alternate, smaller and narrower.

Heads 1 or few per plant, solitary and nodding, on hairy peduncles; heads usually 3–10 cm diam.; involucral bracts ovate to lanceolate, acuminate, scabrous, ciliate; receptacle scales 3-toothed, membranous. Ray florets bright yellow; ligules 2–3 c. or more long. Disc florets numerous, brownish.

Achenes broad-cuneate, flattened, 5–10 mm long, black with grey streaks, finely pubescent; pappus absent.


Flower
Photo T.M. Tame

Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: throughout year.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows on roadsides and disturbed sites, widespread. Native of N Amer.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
AVH map***

Widely cultivated for the oil extracted from the seeds, and sometimes grown as an ornamental. The cultivated forms have much larger heads than the naturalized plants.

Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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