Helianthus agrestis (Southeastern Sunflower)

Scientific Name

Helianthus agrestis Pollard

Common Names

Southeastern Sunflower, Prairie Sunflower, Rural Sunflower


Helianthus agrestis f. agrestis

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Helianthus


Color: Bright yellow
Bloom Time:  Early autumn


Helianthus agrestis is an annual herb that grows up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. One plant can have up to 15 flower heads, each with about 12 ray florets surrounding 50 or more disc florets. The outer ray flowers are bright yellow while the disk flowers in the center are flattened and brownish-purple. Leaves are rather broadly oval-shaped than some of the similar species, rough to the touch on the upper surface, and primarily alternate on the stem. The stem is branched and hairy.

Helianthus agrestis - Southeastern Sunflower
Photo via inaturalist.org


It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.

How to Grow and Care

If you decide to add Sunflowers to your garden, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.

First of all, they are called sunflowers for a reason. They need sun. Make sure that the location you choose for your Sunflowers gets full sun.

Second, you do not need to worry about soil too much. They are not picky about the conditions of the soil, but they are plants. They will do better in better soil.

Third, Sunflower seed shells do contain a substance that is toxic to grass. So, you will need to either harvest the Sunflower heads before the seeds begin to fall out, or you will need to plant your Sunflowers in a location where you do not mind any nearby grass being killed.

Fourth, keep in mind the height of the Sunflower variety you have chosen. A giant, twelve-foot variety will end up acting very much like a small tree and may shade the surrounding flowers. See more at How to Grow and Care for Sunflowers.


It is found only in the states of Florida and Georgia in the southeastern United States.


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