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Closeup of a single sunflower in a sunflower field, England
Single sunflower in a sunflower field.
The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an living annual plant in the family Asteraceae, with a large flower head (capitulum). The stem of the flower can grow up to 3 metres tall, with a flower head that can be 30 cm wide. Other types of sunflowers include the California Royal Sunflower, which has a burgundy (red + purple) flower head.
The flower head is actually an inflorescence made of hundreds or thousands of tiny flowers called florets. The central florets look like the centre of a normal flower, and the outer florets look like yellow petals. All together they make up a "false flower" or pseudanthium. The benefit to the plant is that it is very easily seen by the insects and birds which pollinate it, and it produces thousands of seeds
© Inga Rasmussen