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Pest Information

Common Sunflower

Common Sunflower

  • Latin Name: Helianthus Annuus
  • Common Name: Common Sunflower
  • Other Names: Annual sunflower, wild sunflower

Pest Details

Common Sunflower
Common Sunflower

Origin:

A native of North America and common throughout the United States.

Biology:

A commonly cultivated crop useful for the edible seeds, but also an escape that grows in abundance along roadsides, empty areas, or as a pest plant in other crops. This is an annual plant with propagation from seeds. The size and vigor of the plants are highly influenced by the soil and moisture in which they are growing.

Identification:

Mature plants may get to 10 feet tall and assume a somewhat bushy habit due to the branching and broad leaves. Stems are thick and stringy, and are covered with short, stiff hairs that give them a rough feel. Leaves are heart shaped or oval, and can be very large and broad. Their margins may be smooth or toothed and their surfaces are hairy. The upper leaves are on short stalks while the lower leaves have stalks up to 6 inches long. Flower heads are huge and showy, with the typical daisy pattern of a dark center of short disk flowers that form a flat or rounded surface, and the surrounding bright yellow ray flowers that are much longer. The flowers may be over 5 inches across, and as they mature the large seeds form in the center of the flower.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Annual weeds with a strong, fibrous root system. Plants are easily hand-removed, and control early in the season is recommended to prevent the large amount of vegetative material from being produced.

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