When it comes to sunflowers, a lot of people are confused about whether they are herbs or shrubs. The confusion is understandable because the word “sunflower” can be used as either term. This blog post will explore the difference between herbs and shrubs, and answer the main question…
Is Sunflower a Herb or Shrub?
It’s true that sunflowers are herbs. It is classified as an annual, but it belongs to the Asteraceae family, therefore can be considered a type of herb.
As summer progresses, sunflowers will start to grow taller and taller. Most of them can reach heights of 12 feet by the time summer ends.
Unfortunately, sunflowers will die after their seeds have matured. But one of the best parts of owning a sunflower is reaping the benefits year after year, as the seeds grow to form a full sunflower the following season.
Let’s Learn A Bit More…
The sunflower (Amazon link) is native to the Americas. The center of diversity for sunflower species is in Mexico, with over 500 documented types of sunflowers growing in this continent.
The flower was a symbol of Aztec gods and from there spread into other Native American cultures. Today, it’s still used to represent Mother Earth or summertime. Sunflowers are also known as “Indian Heads.”
Sunflowers grow best in areas with low humidity and hot climates. They also fare well when planted alongside taller crops, such as corn or sorghum.
A sunflower head is made up of many individual seeds that grow to form the flower’s structure. The following year, new flowers will sprout from these seeds as long as they’re planted deep enough into the soil to reach moisture.
For many Native American tribes, the sunflower is sacred. The largest wild species of sunflower grows on the prairies of Argentina – it can grow to over nine feet in height! Apparently, this particular type was discovered by Charles Darwin during his travels in South America.
Sunflowers grow best when planted in an open location with full sun exposure. The long, slender leaves will then produce a thick stem that eventually bears the flower and fruit on top of it.
In conclusion, a sunflower is an annual, which means that it’s a herb. I hope you have enjoyed reading my first post on this site! If so, please share this post with your friends and take a look at the other posts.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.