Taxonomy of Sunflower

Sunflower belongs to the genus Helianthus, a genus of 67 species, all native to the Americas. The genus consists of both annual and perennials;

some, such as H. annuus, are very common; some, such as H. niveus (Bentham) Brandegee, are quite rare; some are very weedy; and some are grown as ornamentals. In addition to the sunflower, the Jerusalem artichoke, H. tuberosus Linnaeus, is grown for food. Taxonomists have repeatedly noted that the distinctiveness of the genus within the Asteraceae (Compositae),is matched by the indistinctness of the species within the genus. This is perhaps caused by the variability within each species, natural interspecific hybridization, and various polyploid states of the native species.

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