Helianthus annus

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Helianthus annus L.
  • Common Name : Surajmukhi, Sunflower
  • Plant Family : Asteraceae (Compositae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Compositae became Asteraceae. However, the name Compositae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1, 2, 27-29
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park

About Helianthus annus Plant :

  • Habit : An erect annual herb, up to 3m high.
  • Stem : Pubescent or hirsute.
  • Leaves : Alternate, very large, acuminate at the apex, toothed.
  • Inflorescence :  Capitulum
  • Flowers :
    • Heads varying much in size according to the variety.
    • Outer florets ligulate, all florets yellow.
    • Disc florets fertile, bisexual.
  • Fruit : Pod long, flat.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : Throughout the year under cultivation.
  • Significance :
    • Seeds are diuretic and expectorant.
    • They have been used in bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, coughs and cold.
    • A tincture of flowers and leaves is recommended, in combination with balsams, for bronchiestasia.
    • Leaves are reported to be employed in the treatment of malarial fevers.
    • The sunflower furnish a yellow dye.
    • Though cultivated mainly as a garden plant, sunflowers owes its economic value to its utility as an oil-seed or fodder crop.
    • The seeds are used mainly for the extraction of oil.