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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 2

External Links

General Description
Common sunflower Taprooted annual. Stems erect, often branched, 25–100 cm. Herbage scabrous to sparsely hispid. Leaves alternate; blades weakly to strongly serrate, lanceolate to ovate, sometimes cordate, 5–20 cm long. Involucres 15–35 mm across; phyllaries ovate, long-acuminate, hispid, long-ciliate, 12–25 mm long. Ray ligules 16–45 mm long. Disk corollas 5–8 mm long, lobes often deep red. Achenes 4–5 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Throughout North America, introduced worldwide (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 237

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Disturbed soil of fields, grasslands, streambanks, roadsides; plains, valleys (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Gobielle, J. 1992. The effects of fire on Merriam's turkey broad habitat in southeastern Montana. M.S. thesis, Montana State University, Bozeman. 61 pp.
    • Holeckek, J.L. 1976. Initial effects of different species treatments and fertilizer rates on a mine spoils rehabilitation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 91 p.
    • Johnson, J.D. 2004. Restoring native species to crested wheatgrass dominated rangelands. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 58 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Zapatka, T.P. 1963. Some results of two limited hunting seasons on hen Pheasants in north central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 26 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Common Sunflower — Helianthus annuus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from