Common sunflowers are native to Kansas.
Commonly referred to as native plants, indigenous plants grow and self propagate in the wild. They are often hardier and require less maintenance than non-native plants because they have adapted to the weather extremes, pests and disease that exist in the local environment. Indigenous flowering plants add to the beauty of the countryside, roadsides and neighborhoods throughout the state of Kansas. Does this Spark an idea?
Lazy daisy (Aphanostephus skirrhobasis) is an annual indigenous to Kansas. This Kansas flowering plant grows to a height of 2 feet. its blooms are 1 to 2 inches wide and produced on individual stems. They have a yellow center and pink to white petals that are red on the underside. Lazy daisy blooms from March until August. This native Kansas flower is drought tolerant and prefers sandy soils in a sunny location. The flowers do not open until midday.
Basket flowers (Centaurea americana) are a native flowering plant that range between 1 ½ and 5 feet tall. The 4- to 5-inch flower heads bloom in shades of white and pink with cream-colored centers. The blooms on this native Kansas flower produce a sweet, honey-like scent. Basket flowers bloom during May and June. They require very little water and prefer sandy soil in a partially shaded location.
Indian blanket (Gaillardia purcell) is an annual plant indigenous to Kansas. They grow to a height of 2 feet. The 1- to 2-inch flower heads are red at the base and become yellow or orange along the edges. The centers of the flowers are brownish red. Indian blanket self sows through seed. The plant blooms from May until August and prefers sandy soils in full-sun to partial-shade locations. Soils that are rich in organic matter result in the plant producing fewer blooms.
Common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual indigenous to Kansas and is the state flower. The easily recognized native plant can grow up to 8 feet under ideal conditions. The bright, showy yellow petals surround a maroon center that produces edible seeds. New plants easily sprout from matured seeds that drop to the ground. The blooms of the common sunflower typically measure 5 inches across. The flower heads turn to follow the sun’s path throughout the day. The flowers on these indigenous Kansas plants face east in the morning and west by sunset. They bloom from July through October. The plants perform best in full sun. Common sunflowers readily adapt to all types of soil, but grow best in soils that are on the dry side.