sunflower species

Sunflower Species: The 50 Most Beautiful Varieties (Overview)

The sunflower also has a lot to offer in terms of growth shape and flower color and shape. We present the most beautiful species and varieties. Sunflowers ( Helianthus ) put every viewer in a good summer mood when their bright blossoms show themselves in the warm season. Apart from the omnipresent love of the sun, the different types of sunflowers are characterized by a wide variety of flower colors and sizes as well as growth forms.

Whether impressive varieties for planting in the bed or small varieties for pot culture, whether perennial shrubs or annual plants – sunflowers offer an often underestimated diversity. Here we present you the most beautiful sunflower varieties for pots and beds.

Sunflower species: discover the diversity

The genus of sunflowers ( Helianthus ) comprises 67 species. In Europe, the actual sunflower ( Helianthus annuus ) and the Jerusalem artichoke ( Helianthus tuberosus ) are known as cultivated plants. The plants of this genus form flower heads that stand together individually or in groups. The height of growth can be between 20 centimeters and over five meters, depending on the species, with varieties that remain small, such as ‘Sunspot’, being ideal for growing sunflowers in pots.

But real giants can also be grown in the bed. However, species like H. annuus have to be re-sown every year. Perennial sunflowers are a good alternative. Species like Helianthus decapitates survive the cold season without winter protection and will show their sunny flowers again next year.

Sunflower varieties: popular and beautiful varieties

Sunflowers are both popular ornamental and important crops. The interest in inbreeding and the resulting variety of varieties is correspondingly high. If you look at the flower properties, you can generally distinguish between varieties with high nectar production, which are particularly suitable for bee pastures, extra early or particularly late-blooming varieties, and varieties with low or high oil content and high grain yield.

There are also pollen-free varieties. These are particularly suitable for cutting vases because the flowers do not leave any sticky, yellow traces of pollen in the house. In addition, the flower colors range from the typical bright yellow to orange, red, and brown to bronze tones. In addition to simple basket flowers, there are also varieties with double or half-double flowers. You can find more about sunflowers in the vase in our special article.

Sunflowers are very popular, hence the large variety of varieties

Sunflower varieties for the bed

The largest selection of varieties for planting in beds is offered by the Helianthus annus species. The annual plants are sown anew in the bed every year. The plants, which can grow up to three meters high, die in winter. The yellow to reddish-brown flowers stretch out towards the sun from July to September. We introduce you to 25 particularly beautiful and insect-friendly varieties of H. annuus :

  • Tiffany: Orange-yellow flowers with a dark center; Growth height up to 190 cm.
  • Inara Orange: Orange flowers with a reddish-brown center; Growth height up to 160 cm; pollen-free.
  • Sunrich Gold: Orange-yellow flowers with a golden-yellow center; Growth height up to 200 cm; pollen-free.
  • Sunrich Orange: Orange petals with a dark center; Growth height up to 170 cm; pollen-free.

sunflower

  • Orange Sun: Double, orange-yellow flowers from August to October; Growth height up to 150 cm.
  • Yellow disc: yellow petals; Growth height up to 180 cm.
  • King Kong: Sun-yellow petals; make conspicuously large flowers and leaves; Growth height up to 500 cm.
  • Prado Gold: Light, golden yellow flowers with a dark brown center; Growth height up to 200 cm; blooming very early.
  • Sonja: Large, golden yellow flowers with a dark center; Growth height up to 100 cm.
  • Mezuzah: Sun yellow flowers with an almost black center; Stature height 120 cm; suitable for windy locations.
  • American Giant: Bright yellow flowers; Growth height up to 400 cm.
  • Titan: yellow flowers up to 60 cm in size; Growth height up to 360 cm.
  • Golden Hedge: Bright, yellow petals; pollen-free; particularly suitable for late sowing (until mid-July).
  • Snack: yellow petals; Growth height up to 200 cm; this variety was specially bred for harvesting sunflower seeds; the kernels have a high vitamin content and taste spicy.
  • Atlanta: golden yellow petals with a dark center; Growth height up to 250 cm; insect-friendly.
  • Prado Red: dark red flowers with a black center; Growth height up to 160 cm.
  • Terracotta: two-colored flowers in orange and yellow with a dark center; Growth height up to 180 cm.Dark red flowers and black center
  • Velvet Queen: Deep red petals with a black center; 15 cm large flowers; Height about 150 cm.
  • Evening sun: Brown-red flower with a dark, brown-red center; Growth height up to 200 cm.
  • Ring of Fire: two-colored flower in yellow and red with a dark center; Growth height up to 120 cm.
  • La Torre: two-colored flowers in yellow and orange-red with a red-brown center; Growth height up to 200 cm; insect-friendly.
  • Cherry Rose: flowers with a color gradient from light yellow to burgundy red; Growth height up to 150 cm; pollen-free.
  • Earthwalker: Terracotta-colored petals that turn golden yellow; Growth height up to 300 cm.
  • Pro-Cut Bicolor: two-tone petals in bronze and golden yellow; Growth height up to 200 cm; pollen-free.
  • Floristan: red and white flowers; Growth height up to 120 cm.

sunflower annual varieties

However, there are not only annual varieties. If you want to save yourself the annual sowing, you can fall back on perennial sunflowers. Most of the varieties of these species are even hardy. However, the kernels of these are not edible, the flowers are smaller, and, depending on the variety, the plants usually only reach a maximum height of two meters.

Perennial Sunflower ( Helianthus decapetalus ): flowers from July to October; Growth height up to 200 cm; hardy to -29 ° C.

  • Capenoch Star: Light yellow flowers with a yellow center from August to September; Growth height up to 180 cm.
  • Loddon Gold: Double, sun-yellow flowers from July to November; Growth height up to 140 cm.
  • Meteor: Golden yellow, semi-double flowers with a yellow center from August to October; Growth height up to 180 cm.
  • Soleil d’Or: Double, bright yellow flowers with golden yellow in the middle from August to October; Growth height up to 160 cm.
  • Triomphe de Gand: Lemon yellow flowers with a yellow center from August to October; Growth height up to 150 cm.

Small-flowered sunflower ( Helianthus microcephalus ): deep yellow flowers from August to September; branched growth up to 180 cm; forms clumps; hardy to -17 ° C.

  • Anne: Bright yellow flowers from August to October; Growth height up to 110 cm; particularly suitable for bee pastures.
  • Carine: light, lemon yellow flowers; reddish stems.
  • Lemon Queen: Lemon yellow petals with a brownish-yellow center from August to September; Growth height up to 250 cm.
  • Straffe Prairie Guest: Sun-yellow flowers from August to October; Growth height up to 150 cm.

Lemon yellow petals

Giant Sunflower ( Helianthus giganteus ): Yellow flowers from August to October; Growth height up to 400 cm; hardy to -35 ° C.

  • Sheila McQueen: sulfur yellow flowers from September to October; Growth height up to 250 cm.
  • Sheila’s Sunshine: Light, creamy yellow flowers with dark yellow in the middle from September to November; Growth height up to 300 cm.

Willow-leaved sunflower ( Helianthus salicifolius ): yellow flowers from September to October; very narrow and long leaves; perennial; Growth height up to 250 cm; fast-growing; hardy to -35 ° C.

The willow-leaved sunflower has narrow and long leaves

Eyed Sunflower ( Helianthus atrorubens ): Yellow flowers with a brown center in panicles from August to September; the species is suitable for bee meadows; Growth height up to 200 cm; hardy.

  • Giganteus: Very long, bright yellow petals with a dark brown middle from August to October; Growth height up to 200 cm.
Jerusalem artichoke is also one of the sunflower
Jerusalem artichoke is also one of the sunflowers

Jerusalem artichoke ( Helianthus tuberosus ): flowers with yellow petals and brown in the middle from September to November; Growth height up to 250 cm; hardy to -30 ° C; the tubers are edible.

Sunflower varieties for the pot

Although sunflowers usually think of real giants among flowering plants, there are also a few small varieties in 67 species. These are ideal for growing in pots or tubs because they rarely reach heights of more than one meter. To give you an overview of the diversity among the dwarfs of sun worshipers, we present 16 varieties that remain small for growing sunflowers in pots:

  • Pacino: bright yellow flowers from March to June; Growth height up to 30 cm (80 cm outdoors); profuse and long flowering.
  • Sun Gold: Yellow flowers with a green center from March to July; Growth height up to 60 cm; pollen-free.
  • Big Smile: Sun-yellow flowers with a darker center from May to October; Growth height up to 30 cm.
  • Sunny Smile: Bright yellow flowers with a dark brown center; Growth height up to 40 cm; pollen-free.
  • Sunspot: golden yellow flowers with a green center; Growth height up to 40 cm.
  • Suntastic: Bright yellow petals with a dark center; Growth height up to 50 cm; forms up to 20 flowers per plant.
Some varieties can also be grown as potted plants
Some varieties can also be grown as potted plants
  • Yellow Knirps: Double, yellow flowers from July to October; Growth height up to 50 cm; low in pollen.
  • Garden Statement: Lemon yellow flowers with a darker center from July to September; Growth height up to 80 cm.
  • Ballad: Sun yellow flowers with a large, dark center; Growth height up to 40 cm; pollen-free.
  • Little Leo: Bright yellow flowers with a darker center from July to September; Growth height up to 45 cm.
  • Miss Mars: Red petals with white tips and black centers from June to October; Growth height up to 60 cm.
  • Double Dandy: Half-double, red flowers from June to October; Growth height up to 60 cm.ˈPacinoˈ is very suitable as a pot plant
  • Teddy bear: Double, orange-yellow flowers from April to June; Growth height up to 40 cm (70 cm outdoors).
  • Bert: Bright orange-yellow flowers with a dark center; Growth height up to 45 cm; pollen-free.
  • Baby Bear: Orange Flowers; Growth height up to 60 cm; pollen-free.
  • Music Box: Many small flowers in light yellow, golden yellow, and brown from July to September; Growth height up to 60 cm.
Tip: Nutrients are used up quickly, especially in pots, and sunflowers should be fertilized regularly. Liquid fertilizer is particularly easy to use. This is simply administered via irrigation water every one to two weeks and ensures that the sunflowers are strengthened and bloom.

The varieties mentioned all belong to the species H. annuus and are therefore annual. Those who want to enjoy their potted sunflowers for several years can use perennial sunflowers that remain small, such as H. decapetalus ‘Happy Days’. This variety forms semi-double, golden yellow flowers from June to September and reaches heights of about 60 centimeters.

'Teddy bear' sunflowers have double flowers

Dwarf sunflowers ( Helianthus debilis ssp. Cucumerifolius )

An alternative to the smaller varieties of H. annuus is the varieties of the dwarf sunflower. At around 120 centimeters, these are slightly larger than the varieties mentioned above but are easily suitable for cultivation in large pots or tubs. The species is also annual and forms yellow flowers with a dark center from August to September. It is ideal for creating a bee pasture, is particularly drought-tolerant, and also grows on nutrient-poor soils.

'Italian White' is one of the dwarf sunflowers

  • Vanilla Ice: Small, creamy white flowers; Growth height up to 120 cm; long flowering period.
  • Italian White: multi-flowered creamy white with the dark blue eye; Growth height up to 120 cm.
  • Piccolo: Medium, yellow flowers with a dark brown center; Growth height up to 100 cm.
  • Sunny Babe: Small, yellow flowers with a black center; Growth height up to 120 cm.
  • Stella: golden-yellow flowers; Growth height up to 140 cm.

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