Crossability of Sunflower

Cultivated sunflower crosses readily with wild and weedy forms of H. annuus, which are common in many areas. Insect-aided pollination is the predominant method by which a high degree of cross-pollination takes place in sunflowers. Cultivated sunflowers are potentially capable of crossing with many other species of Helianthus, and naturally occurring hybrid swarms are known in North America. Interspecific hybridization involving H. annuus as one of the parents has been conducted for many years as part of breeding programs and taxonomic research. Hybridization ranges from easy and generally fertile crosses, such as with many of the other annual species, to high levels of incompatibility.

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