Helianthus Annuus. Sunflower is a summer blooming annual with large yellow to bronze flower heads. The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem; broad, coarsely-toothed rough leaves; and circular heads of flowers.
Sunflowers were commonly grown in colonial gardens in the 18th century. Since our seeds were open-pollinated in the Upper Garden at Mount Vernon, there may be a wide variation in plant height (5’– 8’) and bloom size. They are best suited for the back of the border or along a fence line. Seeds may be sown directly outdoors in a sunny location in late spring or may be started indoors 2-3 weeks before transplanting into warm garden soil.
Heirloom seeds are collected from the gardens and grounds of George Washington's Mount Vernon and cleaned and packaged by hand.