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 petals that always face the sun.
But not all sunflowers are towering beauties, or even showcase bright 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 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.
This dainty dwarf variety most resembles its cousin, the daisy.
The Suntastic Yellow grows in sets of 5 to 8 and can reach 2 feet in height.
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 can reach 15 feet in height with a broad face that can grow up to one foot in width.
Skyscraper. The skyscraper is another tall variation, growing up to 14 feet tall. Its bright yellow petals can also grow up to 14 inches long!
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.
Not all sunflower types are yellow – many varieties range from deep red to rich orange to delicate pink hues.
Strawberry Blonde. The Strawberry Blonde sunflower features petals with both pink and yellow hues.
A coffee-colored 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 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!