Wild Sunflower

Biological Name:

Helianthus spp. (Wild-Sunflower)

Natural Habitat:

Wild-sunflower is a type of sunflower that grows in open, sunny areas, such as fields, meadows, and roadsides. It is commonly found in North America, particularly in the eastern and central parts of the continent.


Wild-Sunflower is a herbaceous annual plant that is native to North America. It has large showy flowers and long narrow leaves. It is often found in dry open areas and is used in traditional medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are there wild sunflowers?
A: Wild sunflowers grow in a wide range of habitats. They can be found from central Mexico north across the United States and into southern Canada. Generally each species inhabits a limited geographic range.

Q: Can you pick wild sunflowers?
A: It’s considered a misdemeanor to pick wildflowers in California, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Colorado and you could be fined.

Q: Where do wild sunflowers come from?
A: The sunflower is native to North America and was first grown as a crop by indigenous tribes over 4,500 years ago. Native Americans cultivated the sunflower from its original bushy, multi-headed type to produce a single-stemmed plant bearing a large flower.

Q: How long do wild sunflowers last?
A: Full bloom After two to three months, sunflowers begin to flower. Typically, sunflowers stay in bloom for three weeks, but you might get a full month if you’re lucky.

Q: Are Wild Sunflower leaves edible?
A: Sunflower leaves can be used as a greens for salad, boiled in the same way you might cook spinach, or even baked like kale chips. The leaves are also used as an herbal supplement, with the leaves steeped to make tea.

Q: What is the rarest type of sunflower?
A: One of the rarest types of sunflowers, Schweinitz’s sunflowers were named about Lewis David von Schweintz, a botanist who discovered the species in the early 1800s. They can grow to be about 6 feet tall.

Q: What does a Wild Sunflower look like?
A: Wild sunflowers are coarse, hairy, leafy, fast-growing annual plants that typically grow to a height of 1 to 1.5 metres high and have stiff upright stalks. The species is considered a weedy plant because it is commonly seen growing along roads, fences, fields and in waste areas.

Q: What are wild sunflowers good for?
A: Wild Sunflower has many benefits. In addition to providing a super-bloom of yellow flowers that lasts a month, it also feeds dozens of beneficial insects. Butterflies are also attracted to Wild Sunflower. Finally, Wild Sunflower is the best plant to attract birds to your yard!

Q: Are wild sunflowers considered weeds?
A: This is the plant from which we have bred large annual garden sunflowers grown for cut flowers, seeds, and pure bragging rights. Cultivated sunflowers tend to be loved and prized by all, while their wild ancestor tends to be considered more of a weed.

Q: How often do wild sunflowers bloom?
A: When do sunflowers bloom? Annual sunflowers bloom during summer and into autumn. Sow new plants every few weeks and you’ll enjoy non-stop flowers until the first frost. Perennial sunflowers bloom for a period of 8-12 weeks with some beginning as early as July and others finishing as late as October.

Q: What are the wild sunflowers called?
A: Common Name:Wild sunflowerScientific Name:Helianthus annuusFamily:Asteraceae (Aster)Duration:AnnualHabit:Herbs

Q: What is the most rare sunflower?
A: Schweinitz’s Sunflower This sunflower is one of the rarest species in America and is named after Lewis David von Schweintz a botanist who discovered the species in the early 1800s. Its average height is about 6.5 feet, but has been seen to grow up to 16 feet tall!

Q: What are small wild sunflowers called?
A: Helianthus gracilentus A. Gray – slender sunflower – California. Helianthus grosseserratus M.

Q: Are wild sunflowers invasive?
A: Is Wild Sunflower Invasive? Wild Sunflower can be considered invasive in a highly disturbed soil area. In fact, the state of Iowa lists Wild Sunflower as a noxious weed – which is strange as the plant is native to the state!

Q: Do wild sunflowers come back every year?
A: If a sunflower variety is a perennial, it will naturally return and blossom again the following year. Annual varieties must be replanted every year. Sunflowers will also grow back if they are self-germinating, growing from seeds that may fall off of the plant, provided the heads are left on in the winter.

Q: What looks like a sunflower but is not?
A: Transvaal Daisy Also known as Gerber Daisy, Gerbera jamesonii is a lovely plant with red flowers that look like sunflowers. These are low-maintenance plants that prefer full sun to partial shade. They are clump-forming tender perennials that bloom up to 4 feet tall.

Q: What does a false sunflower look like?
A: scabra ‘Burning Hearts’ (False Sunflower) is a showy short-lived perennial forming an upright clump of stiff purple stems boasting sunflower-like flowers from midsummer to fall. Each blossom features bright golden-yellow ray petals with vibrant red-orange centers, surrounding a cone-shaped brownish-yellow center disks.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.