Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Warm Season

Sunflower is an upright annual broadleaf. They grow quickly throughout the summer and flower into the fall. Sunflowers have a fairly high water requirement, but do have decent drought tolerance once their deep root system is developed. Salinity tolerance is good and the residue gives good soil armour. Sunflower seeding rates need to stay relatively low to keep the plant ratios in order. Sunflower can be seeded late in the summer, creating a snow trap and preventing wind erosion.

Seeds per pound: 8,000 Seeds/sq ft/pound 0.22


  • Erosion control
  • Soil builder
  • Nitrogen scavenger
  • Weed suppression
  • Grazing potential
  • Hay potential


  • Drought tolerance
  • Salinity tolerance


Susceptible to sclerotina root rot, residue can be hard to handle.


Fair. Not the most palatable plant. Leaves and seeds are most palatable.


Good. Dry down can be an issue due to large stem.

Mycorrhizal support? Yes