Helianthus

Uploaded 26 May 2018 — 3 favorites
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© JamesHarmon McQuilkin
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Helianthus or sunflower (/ˌhiːliˈænθəs/) is a genus of plants comprising about 70 species in the family Asteraceae. Except for three species in South America, all Helianthus species are native to North America. The common name, "sunflower", typically refers to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus, or the common sunflower, whose round flower heads in combination with the ligules look like the sun. This and other species, notably Jerusalem artichoke (H. tuberosus), are cultivated in temperate regions and some tropical regions as food crops for humans, cattle, and poultry, and as ornamental plants.

Perennial sunflower species are not as popular for gardens due to their tendency to spread rapidly and become invasive. Whorled sunflowers, H. verticillatus, were listed as an endangered species in 2014 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule protecting it under the Endangered Species Act. The primary threats are industrial forestry and pine plantations in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. They grow to 1.8 m (6 ft) and are primarily found in woodlands, adjacent to creeks and moist, prairie-like areas.

3 responses

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (26 May 2018):

    I love sunflowers as they provide food for the birds besides being beautiful! Excellent shot!

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon   gave props (27 May 2018):

    Always an eye catcher, these are one of my favorites, too. Beautifully captured!!

  • teresa B

    teresa B   gave props (27 May 2018):

    Very nice!

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