Lemon Queen Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
- This is part of Pollinators
- When to observe: Year-round
- What to observe: Bee count
They are popular in cut flower arrangements. It is very easily grown and grows rapidly. It does very well in average to moist soils and in full sun. This plant provides food for birds and the disk flowers produce sunflower seeds. The seeds are also used in creating cooking oils. It tolerates poor soils.
Also known as Helianthus Annuus, is a Missouri Native, grows in height from 3-10 feet, its spread ranges anywhere from between 1.5 to 3 ft. The flowers are yellow, red, mahogany, bicolor rays with a center circle ranging in color from brown to purple. They are also available in the dwarfed variety. Flower heads on the mammoth sunflower plant can grow up to 1 foot in diameter. The leaves are large, ovular, coarse to the touch, and grow to 1 foot. Because it has been crossbred and hybridized, it manifests in many colors.
While a hearty plant, it thrives in well-drained soil, and the taller plants will require staking and/or shelter from strong winds. These plants are susceptible to rust, fungus, and mildew.