Helianthus annuus L.

Common Sunflower

Sp. Pl. 904 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Scabrous to hispid, erect annual or biennial herb 0.5–2 m high, taprooted. Leaves opposite below, alternate above, ovate to triangular, mostly 3–20 cm long and 2–12 cm wide, apex apiculate, base cordate or truncate, margins entire to serrate; petiole 1–10 cm long. Capitula 1–few, 3–20 cm diam., turned to one side or nodding; involucral bracts 3-seriate, ovate to lanceolate, 15–25 mm long, acuminate, scabrous, ciliate; receptacle scales 3-lobed, 8–12 mm long, membranous. Ray florets numerous, bright yellow, ligules mostly 2–3 cm long; disc florets numerous, brownish. Cypselas obovate, 5–10 mm long, broad-cuneate, 4-angled, black with grey streaks, finely appressed-pubescent; pappus of 2 minute, early-caducous scales. Flowers mostly Nov.–Jun.

*EGU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *RobP, *Strz, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. Native to North America. Widely cultivated for oil (extracted from cypselas) and as an ornamental; often escaping and weakly persisting along roadsides and in other disturbed sites.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Asteraceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Helianthus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Helianthus annuus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Helianthus annuus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present introduced
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present introduced
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory