I love sunflowers because they are beautiful, colorful and cheerful. They also smell so good! I love their vibrant colors, and the way they grow so happily in the sun. They even make me feel like I’m part of the earth. They are energy-rich, so that’s another reason why it would be a good idea to put them around your house. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite types of sunflower varieties below- check out the gorgeous pictures!

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a highly productive agricultural crop widely used for food, fodder, and decorative purposes. These bright, incredibly sunny flowers create a unique flavor of country style in the garden, which makes it especially attractive and interesting while creating a positive mood and vitality.

To date, there are more than 300 varieties and hybrids of sunflower on sale with various colors of elegant baskets, from yellow to bright red and even brown, and some varieties have a three-color, very colorful and unusual color. Among them, there are low-growing plants that are good in group plantings, great for decorating flower beds, borders, for growing in pot culture, and this group of sunflowers is well worth cutting.

High varieties are good against the background of a wicker fence, fence. From sunflowers, you can create a wonderful hedge or curtain up to 3.5-5 meters high.

Considering sunflower as a crop, one cannot ignore its productivity for grain, and especially its nutritional value. After all, everyone knows the taste of sunflower seeds since childhood, and the ancient Incas knew about its beneficial properties.

How to care for the sunflower

Even for an unpretentious culture, care is important. As for sunflowers, they need to be watered, fertilized, tied up, and treated against pests.

Watering

Since the sunflower is a very moisture-loving plant, watering is needed abundantly and regularly. As a rule, one watering per day should be enough, but in severe drought, their number increases up to 2-3 times a day.

Garter

The garter helps the tall sunflower not to break or bend from the wind and from the weight of the seeds. Since the plant is usually tall, without a garter it can fall and be damaged. If the culture is planted in a windless place, next to a fence that has a protective and supportive effect, then you can do without it.

Topdressing

Sunflower loves potassium and does not tolerate nitrogen fertilizers well. When there is a lot of nitrogen in the soil, the plant is more susceptible to various diseases and it may turn out that the seeds of sunflower grown on such soil will be empty. When fertilized with potassium-phosphorus fertilizers, bees pollinate sunflowers well, and the seeds grow full, large, and tasty. Fertilizer should be applied during planting, after watering, or the first weeding.

19+ Beautiful Sunflower Varieties

1. Annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus) – the most widespread species in culture.

Annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
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The Annual sunflower is the most famous species of the genus Sunflower from the Astrovye family. North America is recognized as the place of origin of the plant, from where it spread throughout the world. At first, it was grown only for decorative purposes. Only from the 19th century, the sunflower began to be used to obtain vegetable oil.

In full accordance with the species name, the life span of this representative of this common sunflower is limited to one season. The annual sunflower has a tap root system that penetrates into the deep layers of the soil. A dense, coarsely pubescent, erect stem rises majestically above the ground. The standard height ranges from 1.5–2.5 meters. However, often woody stems at the end of life reach 4–5 meters.

Large dark green leaves are oval-heart-shaped with beautiful yellow petals. They are located alternately, the lower ones are attached to the shoot with petioles, the upper ones are sessile. Leaf-blades with a sharp tip and serrated edges are covered with hard hairs. Longitudinal veins are visible. The plant has a complex inflorescence – a basket. The marginal flowers are bright yellow, sterile. Numerous tubular flowers are bisexual. After cross-pollination, fruits are set, which are oblong achenes. What gorgeous flower heads. You’ll often see them winning prizes at county fairs.

2. Holly sunflower (Helianthus argophyllus)

Holly sunflower (Helianthus argophyllus)
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This is a wild variety of sunflower native to North America and belongs to the secondary gene pool of cultivated sunflower. This means that the H. argophyllus species is more different from the cultivated species, and despite some reproductive barriers between it and its cultivated relative, the holly sunflower can be crossed with the cultivated sunflower to obtain fertile offspring.

Several properties of interest have been found in Helianthus argophyllus, including downy mildew tolerance and drought tolerance. One of the more beautiful traditional sunflowers.

3. Red-stemmed sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)

Red-stemmed sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens)
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The inflorescence is numerous, 8 cm in diameter, golden-yellow with a purple-red center, well suited for cutting. Flowering in late August-September. The leaves are oval, dark green, rough. Peduncles 120-150 cm high, powerful, straight, reddish. The soil is loose, fertile, well-drained. The planting site must be sunny- especially since the birds will love hanging out by them!

4. Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) is a North American sunflower species.

Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
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Maximilian sunflower is a North American type of sunflower, a branching perennial herb that forms a thick rhizome and reaches a height of up to 3 m. The native land of Maximilian sunflower is the Great Plains in central North America.

Both the wild species and the resulting hybrids are highly decorative. During flowering, its sturdy stems are covered from top to bottom with numerous golden-yellow, wide-open flowers with a diameter of 7 cm, exuding the sweet aroma of chocolate. By winter, the tall, thin stems of the plant die off, but in the spring the plant perfectly restores its aboveground part. The plant propagates by seeds and vegetatively from the rhizome. What a sturdy stalk!

5. Tuberous sunflower (Helianthus Tuberosus)

Tuberous sunflower (Helianthus Tuberosus)
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The herbaceous perennial came to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia from the New World. Native Americans cultivated this plant thousands of years ago.

Like all members of the genus, the flower has a powerful root system with multiple underground shoots. They form tubers of various shapes (round, fusiform, pear-shaped) and colors (white, yellow, brown, purple).

The erect stem of the Tuberous Sunflower branches in the upper part grows up to 3 meters in height. The leaves are attached to the shoot with petioles. The leaf blades are large, heart-shaped, with a pointed tip and jagged edges. The foliage is painted dark green.

At the end of summer, it is time for flowering. At the tops of the stems, basket inflorescences bloom. The marginal flowers are golden, the middle ones are yellow. After cross-pollination, the fruits are tied – achenes.

Hybrid varieties are the result of the work of breeders. Their main drawback is that they are all annuals. At the same time, their yields are about 15% higher, most hybrids are suitable for any application- with their great beauty. It’s the perfect sunflower and great for flower lovers who like a splash of color. Make sure to pay attention to the soil type!

Popular sunflower hybrids

Choosing The Right Sunflower Variety For You

6. Hybrid sunflower type “Jason”

Hybrid sunflower type Jason
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The flower was bred in Serbia. The plant is typically tall for this species, growing in height up to 160-185 cm.

The growing season takes noticeably 107-110 days, which makes it possible to classify this variety is early maturing. The basket of “Jason” is medium-sized, up to 18-24 cm in diameter, slightly flattened.

The seeds are gray-striped, the oils in them are about 49.7-50.4%. The flowering and ripening periods in plants of the hybrid variety “Jason” are uniform. The direction is established as an oilseed. The maximum yield per hectare is approximately 4-4.2 tons of sunflowers.

Plants of this variety grow quietly in conditions of too dense planting, do not crumble, are well resistant to lodging, but can be severely affected by severe drought and heat. As for diseases, no type of dew will harm the sunflower, but various types of rot can slightly spoil the crop. What beautiful flowers!

7. Sunflower variety “Lux”

This type of sunflower is the result of a careful selection of plants of the variety “Donskoy Krupnoplodny”. Thanks to such a good “parent”, “Lux” sunflowers are not susceptible to various diseases that affect the so-called confectionery sunflowers.

This variety is highly productive, but its ripeness group is medium. The growing season is delayed, on average, for 100-105 days, which makes it possible to classify “Lux” as an early variety. The yield is very high, on average 3.2-3.4 tons of sunflowers can be obtained per hectare of field.

Sunflowers of the “Lux” variety are not affected at all by different types of rot, verticilosis, and phomopsis, but may suffer a little from downy mildew. Also, this sunflower is an excellent honey plant. It is characterized by a fairly high drought tolerance, grows well in all soils and climates. For “Lux” thickening is detrimental.

8. “Nut” Sunflower

 Nut sunflower
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It was bred as a result of the selection of confectionery varieties “Lakomka” and “SPK”. Refers to early maturing. Suitable for growing in any conditions that are technically suitable for the cultivation of this crop.

Sunflowers of the “Nut” variety are not tall, on average 160-170 cm, and grow in 103-104 days. The seeds are black, covered with longitudinal stripes of dark gray. The achene is oval-oblong in shape, large in size – 1000 seeds weigh 145-150 grams if the norms of growing density were observed.

Plants bloom and ripen together, seeds are tied even in the worst climatic conditions. The yield is very high, 3.2-3.5 tons of harvest per hectare. They have genetically innate immunity to broomrape and sunflower moths, almost not susceptible to damage to downy mildew and phomopsis.

9. Sunflower variety “Lakomka”

The “parents” of this variety are the biotypes of the “SPK” variety, which underwent a careful single selection. “Lakomka” is a large-fruited mid-season variety that ripens quickly enough – in 105-110 days. Flowering and ripening are aligned. The bushes are very high, up to 1.9 m, the basket is lowered, convex in the area of attachment of seeds, of medium diameter. 

Does not wither in the heat, does not crumble, and does not lie down. It is immune to moths, broomrape, powdery mildew.

10. Variety “Forward” Hybrid

Variety "Forward" Hybrid.
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As a result of selection, it acquired resistance to sclerotinia, sunflower broomrape races, and phomopsis. Almost does not suffer from various types of rot and downy mildew. Refers to medium early varieties. Vegetation takes 104-108 days. At the initial stages, it develops very quickly, does not suffer from a lack of moisture and high temperatures, the stems do not lodge, and the plants themselves ripen very amicably, and the height of the stems throughout the field is almost the same, which makes it easy to harvest.

Plants reach a height of 182-187 cm, or 6 feet tall at maximum height. The diameter of the basket is 15-20 cm, it is slightly convex in shape, lowered down. The direction of this sunflower hybrid is oilseed since the percentage of vegetable fat in the kernels reaches 49.3-49.7%. What beautiful blooms and great for floral arrangements. 

11. Variety “Oliver”

Oliver sunflower
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A hybrid of Serbian production with very short ripening periods (90-95 days). The plants themselves are low, 135-145 cm in height, do not branch, with a powerful root system that penetrates to a depth of 1.5-2 m. Baskets are of medium size, thin, due to which they very actively lose water, flat in shape, even in the area where the seeds are attached. Seeds are medium, the wide ovoid, dark, weight of 1000 pieces is equal to 60-70 grams.

The shell layer of the seeds is well developed, the husk content is 22-24%. Oils in seeds are not less than 47-49%, which determines the direction of sunflowers of this variety – oil. The oil yield is 1128 kg per hectare.

The yield is 23.5 centners per hectare, but with good care and proper planting, the figure can reach 45 centners. As for diseases, neither downy mildew, nor rust, nor sunflower moth will harm the plants of this variety. Also, these sunflowers have rather high indicators of resistance to drought and heat.

12. Sunflower variety “Rimisol”

Sunflower variety "Rimisol"
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Hybrid oilseed sunflower. The growing season is delayed by 106-110 days. Sunflowers of the “Rimisol” variety are characterized by high nectar productivity, as well as lack of reaction to a lack of moisture. With proper care of plants from 1 hectare of area, you can get more than 40 centners of the crop, which is a fairly good indicator.

Plants reach a height of 140-160 cm, with a rather thick stem, a large number of leaves, a well-developed root system, which will “get” moisture even from a depth of 1.5-2 m. The Rimisol basket has a diameter of 19-22 cm, tilted downward, convex, rather thin.

The seeds are black, elongated, the weight of 1000 pieces is, on average, 75 g. At the initial stages of development, plants grow very quickly. The kernels contain about 46-48% of oils, the husk content is kept at the level of 21-23%. 

13. Sunflower variety “Atilla”

Belongs to super-early varieties, ripens in 95-100 days. The first shoots can be seen already 58-60 days after planting. It has a particularly strong resistance to diseases of various kinds, it takes root well in a wide variety of soils.

The Atilla plants themselves are tall (160-165 cm), with a flat, half-inclined basket, the diameter of which reaches 22-24 cm. The percentage of oil in the seed kernels is 51-52%, and the husk content is 20-22%. Plants withstand temperature extremes, lack of moisture, and heat well. Almost all types of diseases do not affect sunflowers of this variety, even phomopsis, rust, and all types of rot. The variety is quite resistant to the sunflower moth. Lookout for edible seeds and useful sunflower oil.

14. Variety “Prometheus” A very early variety, the productivity of which is extremely high.

Prometheus sunflower
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Plants have time to fully form in less than 95 days. They are rather low (140 cm), with an average basket with a diameter of 18-22 cm. The potential yield is 38 centners per hectare, the average indicators are kept at the level of 25-27 centners. 1000 seeds weigh about 65-70 grams, oils in them are from 50 to 52%.

The drought tolerance of these sunflowers is excellent. There is also immunity against broomrape, downy mildew, rust. Rot can spoil the crop a little. Plants respond well to feeding.

15. Sunflower Variety “Flagman”

An early variety of sunflower with a growing season of 90-94 days. Plants are very tall, more than 2 meters in height. The seeds are elongated, oval in shape, 1000 seeds will weigh 60-65 g. They contain a lot of vegetable oil – up to 55%, which makes this particular variety indispensable in the production of the product.

This variety of sunflower is distinguished by its high technology, it responds perfectly to the high agricultural background. It quickly adapts to the new conditions of the place where these plants are grown. It is not affected by powdery mildew, broomrape, it is highly tolerant to phomopsis.

16. Variety “SPK”

SPK
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The ‘SPK’ variety is the most popular and demanded on the market. It is rightfully considered the best honey plant among the known sunflower hybrids and varieties. The period of active vegetation is up to 90 days. It loves space, it is advisable to pickle the seeds before planting, as he is susceptible to disease.

17. Sunflower type “Bogdan”

Suitable for cultivation on impoverished soils, capable of producing up to 50 centners of seeds per 1 hectare. The kernels are large, the oil content is up to 50%. Differs in high resistance to the vast majority of diseases.

18. “Antey”

Antey
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is characterized by large seeds with an oil content of up to 52%. An average of 43 quintals can be harvested from 1 hectare. The variety is resistant to most common diseases.

19. “Rigid” sunflower (Helianthus rigidus) –

Rigid sunflower Helianthus rigidus
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is a plant up to 1.5 m tall, which in autumn dissolves dark yellow baskets up to 8 cm in diameter. Decorative forms differ in the size of the inflorescence and the number of reed flowers and are characterized by a longer flowering period (more than three weeks).

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