Sunflowers say "summer" like no other plant. American natives, sunflowers are grown for beauty as well as harvested for seed.
An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisy-like flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds.
Tall and coarse, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves. Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height, though there are also varieties today that have been developed for small spaces and containers.
Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are heat- and drought-tolerant. They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.