Common Sunflower
Helianthus annuus - Linnaeus
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Plant is an upright, hairy annual with a taproot. Preferred habitat is roadsides, pastures, old fields and waste areas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are opposite on the lower stalk and alternate on the upper stalk; no leaf stalk; oval to triangular-shape; tapers to the tip with sides less than equal to forming an angle to the left; tapering and pinched; margins toothed and base truncate (having a squared side) or heart-shaped and attached to the stem between leaf lobes.

Flowers are at the end of the stem; a solitary head per each flower stalk; flowers are symmetrical. Disc flowers are bisexual in nature; reddish brown. Ray flowers are female, numerous; yellow. Flowers occur in the summer.

Fruit is a seed which outer layer is fused to it.

This sunflower is a miniature of the domesticated form (which may have 10 inch flowers and usually referred to as Kansas Sunflower). These flowers, regardless whether native or domesticated is the state flower of our good friends in Kansas.

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