Yearly sunflowers (Helianthus annus) are sturdy plants, valued for its cheerful blooms that appear in summer and fall. Sunflowers, that are simple to plant from seed directly from the garden, remain lovely all season with little upkeep. Traditionally, sunflowers are bright yellow with brown centres, but varieties include hues of bright yellow, copper, red, brown, orange and bi-colored.
Although yellow is the original color, it ranges from light, custardy colours to eye-popping yellows. “Valentine” is an attention-getting sunflower with light yellow cones which contrast with deep brown centres. “Tohokujhae” displays shaggy, double blooms of bright yellow and greenish-yellow centres. “Pacino” has petals of medium yellow, and unlike many varieties, the center is also yellow. “Sunrich Lemon” is a lemon-yellow sunflower surrounding a black core.
Even though sunflowers in hues of red are less common, the colors are striking. “Moulin Rouge” is among the most unusual, with deep, deep ruby red petals surrounding a dark core. The petals of “Velvet Queen” are soft-textured in hues of deep red around a brown center. “Autumn Beauty” displays clusters of reddish-orange blossoms with light brown centres. “Floristan” is a stunner with reddish brown petals radiating out of a dark brown middle.
White sunflower varieties few and far between, which makes them particularly distinctive. Although it isn’t pure white, “Italian White” displays ivory-colored petals with brown middles. The petals of “Coconut Ice” appear as a creamy shade of vanilla, eventually turning almost pure white that contrasts with the dark middles.
“Inca Jewel” is a flexible variety available in many colors, such as bright yellows, bi-colored or banded gold, orange, bronze or burgundy. “Music Box” displays flowers in hues of gold, yellow and gold-bronze. “The Joker” has deep red centres surrounded by yellow-tipped reddish petals. “Sundance Kid” is marked with uncommon yellow or bronze petals radiating from a coppery brown center.