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FutureStarrAnother Name for Sunflower OR
Before blooming, sunflower plants tilt during the day to face the sun in order to gain more sunlight for photosynthesis. This heliotropism continues for a short time when the plant blooms, young sunflower heads tracking of the sun. This is thought to help attract pollinators, as many are more attracted to warm flowers. By the time they are mature, though, sunflowers generally stop moving to remain facing east. which lets them be warmed by the rising sun. Except for three South American species, the species of Helianthus are native to North America and Central America. The common names "sunflower" and "common sunflower" typically refer to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus, whose round flower heads in combination with the ligules look like the sun. Sunflowers are thought to have been domesticated 3000–5000 years ago by Native Americans who would use them primarily as a source for edible seeds. They were then introduced to Europe in the early 16th century and made their way to Russia. In Russia, where oilseed cultivators were located, these flowers were developed and grown on an industrial scale. Russia then reintroduced this oilseed cultivation process to North America in the mid-20th century; North America began their commercial era of sunflower production and breeding.
Sunflowers are usually tall annual or perennial plants that in some species can grow to a height of 300 cm (120 in) or more. Each "flower" is actually a disc made up of tiny flowers, to form a larger false flower to better attract pollinators. The plants bear one or more wide, terminal capitula (flower heads made up of many tiny flowers), with bright yellow ray florets (mini flowers inside a flower head) at the outside and yellow or maroon (also known as a brown/red) disc florets inside. Several ornamental cultivars of H. annuus have red-colored ray florets; all of them stem from a single original mutant. This genus is distinguished technically by the fact that the ray florets (when present) are sterile, and by the presence on the disk flowers of a pappus that is of two awn-like scales that are caducous (that is, easily detached and falling at maturity). Some species also have additional shorter scales in the pappus, and one species lacks a pappus entirely. Another technical feature that distinguishes the genus more reliably, but requires a microscope to see, is the presence of a prominent, multicellular appendage at the apex of the style. Further, the florets of a sunflower are arranged in a natural spiral.
Sunflowers make a spectacular addition to many growers’ gardens for at least one reason: they’re beautiful! Botanically, all of about 70 true sunflower species fall into the genus Helianthus. Its name is derived from Greek “helios” for sun and “anthos” for flower. The most commonly cultivated species is Helianthus annuus, and it makes many appearances on our list (also known as the common sunflower.) Except for a few species native to South America, all of the sunflower species are native to North America. common sunflower (H. annuus) is an annual herb with a rough hairy stem 1–4.5 metres (3–15 feet) high and broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves 7.5–30 cm (3–12 inches) long arranged in spirals. The attractive heads of flowers are 7.5–15 cm wide in wild specimens and often 30 cm or more in cultivated types. The disk flowers are brown, yellow, or purple, while the petallike ray flowers are yellow. The fruit is a single-seeded achene. Oilseed varieties typically have small black achenes, while those grown for direct seed consumption, known as confection varieties, have larger black-and-white achenes that readily separate from the seed within. (Source: www.britannica.com)