Kansas State Flower
Sunflower (common name)
Helianthus annuus (scientific name)
The sunflower became Kansas’s state flower in 1903 because of the many cultivated and wild sunflowers in the state, and it appears on the state flag. There are more than 60 types of sunflowers, but most varieties are extremely tall, occasionally growing up to 15 feet (4.5 m). Most have thick, rough, hairy stems and arrowhead-shaped leaves. At the top are one or more large flowers with bright yellow petals surrounding a dark brown center. Petals are single ray flowers and do not form seeds. The center is made up of small, tubular disk flowers that grow in two opposing spiral patterns. These are a mixture of male, female, and bisexual flowers that may or may not be fertile. A sunflower head may grow over a foot wide and create as many as a thousand seeds. Sunflowers grow very well in the hot, dry summers typical in Kansas. Most are cultivated in fields, but they also volunteer in fields and along roads.
Duration: Annual, perennial
Plant: Arrowhead-shaped leaves with single or multiple flowers on tall stalks
Mature Height: 3–10 feet (1–3 m)
Flowers: 6–12 in (15–30.5 cm) across, multiple pointed ray flowers around a wide circle of disk flowers
Flower Color: Yellow
Leaves: 6–12 in (15–30.5 cm) long, pointed
Fruit/Seed Color: Tan
Location: Open fields and prairies
Range: Throughout the U.S.
Click to enlarge an image
|Author: World Trade Press|