Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are annual plants native to North America that are known for their large, bright yellow flowers. They are named for their tendency to follow the sun, as their flowers are typically oriented towards the east in the morning and then towards the west in the afternoon. Sunflowers are easy to grow and thrive in sunny, well-draining locations. They can reach heights of up to 3 meters (10 feet) and have large, dark green leaves and sturdy stems. The flowers are typically composed of a central disk made up of hundreds of tiny flowers surrounded by a ring of larger, showy petals. Sunflowers produce seeds that are high in oil and protein and are used in a variety of products, including cooking oil, snack foods, and birdseed. Sunflowers are popular ornamental plants and are often grown for their beauty and as a source of food for wildlife. They are also used in traditional medicine and have been linked to a number of potential health benefits, including improved heart health and skin health.
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