Helianthus annuus L.
Family: Asteraceae
common sunflower, garden sunflower
Helianthus annuus image
Robert R. Kowal  
Etymology: Helianthus: derived from two Greek words helios, "sun," and anthos, "flower," in reference to the sunflower's supposed tendency to always turn toward the sun
Plants: erect, annual, 3'-10' tall forb with leafy, roughly hairy stems
Leaves: mostly alternate, long-stalked, largest wide and oval, rough on both sides
Flowers: head 3"-6" wide with yellow rays and a flat, dark disk at least 1 1/4" wide; inflorescence with several heads in a branched cluster, escaped cultivated forms usually with only 1 large head; blooms July-Sept.
Fruits: dry, edible seed
Habitat: sun; moist; disturbed sites
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Introduced - naturalized