Plant Image
Willow Lake Tr - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Helianthus annuus - common sunflower

Other Common Names: annual sunflower, Kansas sunflower, mirasol
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Asteraceae

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Willow Lake
Sue Smith
Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Widely branching, stout annual with coarse hairy leaves and stems. The up to 5 inch wide flower heads are heliotropic (move with the sun during the day).
Identification notes: Woody erect annual with rough round stems. Leaves mostly alternate, hairy and oval with long leaf stalks and smooth or toothed edges. Flower heads showy, yellow ray flowers, reddish-brown disc flowers. Bracts hairy on margins. Achenes have 2 awns.
Height: 9 feet


Habitat Description: Roadsides, fields and flood plains.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 7000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow ray, reddish-brown discs     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Oct
Description: Bright yellow ray flowers with reddish-brown disc centers; to 5 inches wide.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dull green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are mostly alternate, lower leaves opposite; long petioles, broadly triangular to heart-shaped to 8 inches long; irregularly toothed; stiff haired.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brownish gray to black   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Achenes are topped with 2 awns.
Seed Notes: Seeds are eaten by birds, rodents and humans.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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