Helianthus annuus, annual
Few blooms are as iconic as bright yellow sunflowers. The tall crowd pleasers are easy to grow and take well to most soil types and climates, as long as they’re planted in a sunny spot. Although yellow is their classic hue, modern cultivars come in a range of colors, including burgundy and orange.
Light needs: Full sun. Size: Standard varieties grow up to 10 feet tall.
Grown for: Seeds support local bird populations, like finches. Foliage: Green on tall stalks. Cultivars to try: Teddy Bear is a dwarf variety that grows 30 to 36 inches tall; American Giant boasts 10-inch yellow blooms on 16-foot stalks.