Helianthus annuus, annual
Easy to grow and useful all year-round, sunflowers are crowd-pleasers. Summer’s bright blooms bring joy to gardeners and pollinators, and naturally dried seeds provide local wildlife with a food source in winter. They thrive in most soil types and climates, as long as they’re in a sunny spot.
Light needs: Full sun. Size: Standard varieties grow up to 10 feet tall.
Grown for: Sunflower heads contain 1,000 to 2,000 seeds and feed birds all year. Foliage: Stalks fade to brown in the winter. Cultivars to try: Super Snack Mix and Mammoth Russians produce an abundance of seeds.