Helianthus annuus

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Helianthus annuus, Linn. Common Sunflower. St. 3-12 ft., rough-hairy, often mottled: lvs. 4-12 in. long, broadly ovate, acute, the lower cordate, coarsely serrate, rough on both sides, 3-nerved: fls. 3-6 in. wide in wild specimens, often 14 in cult. July-Sept. Minn, to Texas, west to Wash, and Calif. Gn. 27, p. 68. Gt. 43, p. 95 and B.R. 1265 (as H. lenticularis).—A. valuable economic and ornamental plant. The lvs. are used for fodder, the fls. yield a yellow dye, the seeds furnish an oil and are used for food. It is grown for food chiefly in Russia. H. annuus has long been in cult, as an ornamental, and has varied into many distinct forms. Common varieties are: Var. californicus, Hort., very large and double; var. citrinus, Hort., with primrose-colored rays (Gn. 49, p. 327); var. globosus fistulosus, Hort., enormous globular heads (Gn. 27, p. 68): var. nanus fl. pi., Hort., (Globe of Gold), dwarf and double, valuable for borders; Russian Giant, 10-12 ft. high, single, grown mostly for seed; var. variegatus, Hort., with variegated lvs.

The H. lenticularis, Douglas, is commonly referred to H. annuus. Cockerell supposes, however, that H. lenlicularis is the wild species from which the cultivated forms of H. annuus are derived. Even so, H. annuus, being a Linnsean name, must stand. The many interesting mutations and hybrids observed and produced by Cockerell are based on the wild H. annuus (or H. lenticularis). Placing his variants under H. lenticularis, he names them as follows: Var. bicolor, Ckll., rays red, tipped yellow; var. zonatus, Ckll., rays red-banded; var. ruberrimus, Ckll., rays chestnuts-red throughout; var. primulinus, Ckll., primrose-yellow; var. vinosus, Ckll., rays wine-red; var. vinossissimus, Ckll., rays entirely dark wine-red; var. niger, Ckll., rays practically black above and slightly red at tip. This group of variants comprises the red sunflowers, now in cult. (See account also by Cockerell, page 1446.)

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