Sunflowers are, perhaps, the most popular summertime blooms incorporated into garden landscapes across America. Native to this country, they are as American as apple pie and are loved by almost everyone for their bright and cheery appearance. Sunflowers are characterized by their fuzzy, thick stalks, lush leaves, and large bright yellow petals that always face the sun.
But not all sunflowers are towering beauties, or even showcase golden yellow petals. Before adding these many varieties to our garden rows, it helps to have a basic understanding of the different types of sunflowers – there are close to 70 – and choose from the best varieties available.
Varieties of Sunflowers
Sunflowers are well-known for their towering height, but there are some dwarf varieties that do not grow as tall. These shorter types may only range from 1 to 3 feet in height, but they still make cheerful additions to the garden. Here are some common types of dwarf sunflowers:
Pacino sunflowers are sometimes called “Dwarf Pacino Gold.” They have the tell-tale characteristics of a common sunflower – yellow petals and a broad eye. But this dwarf sunflower variety usually just grows 12 to 16 inches tall.
The Sunny Smile sunflower only grows to around 12 inches tall, but its large crown makes it a cheerful addition to gardens and fresh-cut bouquets.
Suntastic Yellow Sunflowers
This dainty dwarf variety most resembles its cousin, the daisy.
The Suntastic sunflower bright yellow flowers grows in sets of 5 to 8 and can reach 2 feet in height.
Lemon Queen Sunflower
The Lemon Queen Sunflower is a striking and unique variety known for its brilliant lemon-yellow petals that radiate warmth and cheerfulness in any garden. Unlike the traditional golden-yellow sunflowers, the Lemon Queen stands out with its vibrant lemony hue, which adds a refreshing twist to the classic sunflower look.
This variety typically grows to a height of 5 to 6 feet and boasts multiple blooms on each sturdy stem, making it a fantastic choice for providing a burst of color and attracting pollinators. Whether planted in gardens, as part of wildflower meadows, or even in cut flower arrangements, Lemon Queen Sunflowers bring a touch of sunny zest and natural beauty to outdoor spaces.
While dwarf varieties are growing in popularity, the most common sunflowers still tower over most of the other crops and blooms around them. Here are some of the most common sunflower varieties:
American Giant. As its name would imply, the American Giant Sunflowers can reach 15 feet in height with a broad face that can grow up to one foot in width.
Skyscraper Sunflower. The skyscrapers are tall sunflowers, growing up to 14 feet tall. Its bright yellow blooms can also grow up to 14 inches long! It has edible seeds.
Russian Mammoth. This variety is one of the most commonly grown because of its resilience.
Russian Mammoths can grow between 12 and 15 feet tall!
Schweinitz’s Sunflower. One of the rare varieties, and arguably one of the most elegant, is the Schweinitz. They can range between 6 and 16 feet in height and the dainty appearance of their blooms more closely resembles a daisy’s shape.
Chianti sunflowers are a captivating addition to any garden, renowned for their unique charm. These sunflowers are distinctive for producing multiple flowers on a single stem, creating a stunning cascade of golden blooms that dance in harmony with the sun’s rays. Their vivid color and the mesmerizing pattern of multiple flowers on a single sturdy stalk make Chianti sunflowers a true focal point in any outdoor space, adding an extra layer of beauty and fascination to your garden’s landscape.
Teddy bear sunflower is an absolute delight in the world of gardening. These charming sunflowers, aptly named for their resemblance to fluffy teddy bears, stand out with their short, bushy stature and velvety, deep brown centers. Unlike their towering counterparts, teddy bear sunflowers reach only about 2 to 3 feet in height, making them perfect for smaller gardens, borders, or even potted plants.
Their bright yellow petals encircle the dark centers, creating an enchanting contrast that instantly warms the heart. Planting these adorable sunflowers adds a touch of whimsy and cheerfulness to any garden, making them a favorite among both children and adults alike.
Not all sunflower types are yellow – many varieties range from deep red to rich orange to delicate pink hues that look great in flower beds.
Strawberry Blonde. The Strawberry Blonde sunflower features petals with both pink and yellow hues.
A chocolate brown center accentuates its gorgeous colors giving it a stunning appearance.
Helianthus Prado Red Shades. This unique sunflower’s deep red color accentuated with a ribbon of yellow makes it a lovely addition to early autumn bouquets.
Orange Sun. The Orange Sun does not resemble the common sunflower at first glance. Its full center is layered with bright orange petals surrounded by a single row of signature yellow sunflower petals around its perimeter. These unique blooms have large flower heads around 6 inches in diameter with stalks that can reach up to 8 feet tall.
While common sunflowers remain the most popular and easily recognized variety of sunflowers, there are over 70 stunning types that thrive in American climates. Consider mixing things up in the garden and including some of these other unique statures and colors to liven things up all through the growing season!