Wild Sunflowers


No, not MY sunflowers. My sunflowers aren’t wild. We planted them. Back in Texas, sunflowers grew wild everywhere. On the side of the road. In vacant lots. Across meadows and fields. I used to stop and cut them, bringing home armfuls to put in vases in my house. Here, no wild sunflowers. You only have sunflowers if you plant them. And when I tell people about the wild sunflowers in Texas, they look at me like I’m telling them that in Texas they have unicorns blowing bubbles at every street corner. “Somebody must have planted them.” NO! They grow wild!

Texas people, back me up!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 21, 2011  

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28 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 7-21

    I’ve never seen wild sunflowers in Texas, but I’ve seen a LOT of them in Kansas; does that help? ;-)

  2. 7-21

    Backing up commencing! We don’t have many down here in the Houston area, but Dallas/Ft. Worth is blanketed with them. I have pictures, somewhere, but they’re actually just a yellow blur as we were driving by.

  3. 7-21

    Semi related topic/cool weird fact: May 1st is International Sunflower Guerrilla Garden Day. People from all over the world stealth plant Sunflowers in open public spaces. =)

  4. 7-21

    In 1974 I visited my sister in Utah, and they had a botanist friend who was studying the westward spread of wild sunflowers. They had relatively recently arrived in Utah, where it was considered an invasive exotic species. So I was interested to note their arrival here in southern California about 20 years ago. They are now well established here and you see them in vacant lots and along the roadway. The flowers are only about 4″ in diameter, but the plants are highly branched with many flowers on each plant.

    If we want good eating sunflower seeds or giant plants, we still have to plant them.

    Sometimes it’s hard to remember that all the flowers we cultivate are wildflowers SOMEWHERE, where they came from. I was very surprised to find big plots of impatiens growing in the middle of the jungle in Central America, until it dawned on me that they grew wild there.

  5. 7-21

    I live in a small town outside of Dallas, and I love seeing the sunflowers as we drive thru the country. There is a field of them just a mile or so from our house. They get to be about 6 feet tall, but the blooms arent really big enough for eating the seeds. They do make gorgeous arrangements thou :D

  6. 7-21

    This link (and many of us) will back you up.

    Yes, sunflowers grow wild in Texas, but do you seriously want to give Texans another reason to brag? We don’t mean to, we just can’t help it. :woof:

    And I am not sure, but there must be at least one street corner in Dallas where you can find unicorns blowing bubbles. Okay, maybe in Austin, then.

  7. 7-21

    Another back up from a Dallas resident! The wild sunflowers are one of the joys of living here in this very groomed and manicured city…what few open fields and roadways that aren’t concreted to death have hundreds and thousands of wild sunflowers, their bright yellow heads dancing in the breeze.
    I grew up in the country in Missouri and in the summer time, wild TIGER LILIES bloomed in every country road ditch. I was enthralled with their lovely orange and black flowers and I feel the same way about the sunflowers here.
    Love the idea of the International Sunflower Guerilla Day!!

  8. 7-21

    Here in SD we have wild sunflowers everywhere! I think they’re beautiful. The farmers spray them like weeds. In the fall I love to have a vase of the wild sunflowers sitting in the kitchen. We also have wild tiger lillies growing in the ditches along the gravel road. So pretty!

  9. 7-21

    Whaledancer, I had the same reaction when I was in New Zealand. In the Auckland area, osteospermum grow wild in the ditches along side of the roads, and blankets the fields. At that time, I was very carefully nurturing some in pots back in Massachusetts. And, I’d paid $4 each for them!!

    We have orange roadside day lilies in CT, and lots of wild phlox. Sunflowers would be nice!

  10. 7-21

    We have one solitary sunflower just opposite the kitchen window. (it must have come from a seed from the bird feeder) It has just opened and everyday the goldfinches come by to inspect for seeds. I suppose this doesn’t quite qualify as a wild sunflower here in West Virginia?

  11. 7-21

    I live in Fort Worth and our nearby railroad tracks are lined with them. The flowers are not big, but they ARE sunflowers! Millions of them! That, and Queen Anne’s Lace.

  12. 7-21

    I remember sunflowers when I lived in Texas – but what I remember most are the Blue Bonnets. They were EVERYWHERE! We have one LONELY sunflower that we planted – and the birds are keeping pretty close tabs on it! In Kansas, they actually PLANT fields of sunflowers! We live in southeastern Illinois and we have lots of the orange lilies along the roadways!

  13. 7-21

    Sunflowers and Blue Bonnets are some of the most beautiful flowers in Texas.
    I started growing sunflowers several years ago quite by accident, some of the sunflower seeds from the bird feeder ended up in my flower garden, so now I just pick the sunflower seeds out od the bird seed and throw some into a sunny spot in my garden. They look lovely and the Finches love them as well.

  14. 7-21

    We have lots of wild sunflowers on our farm in South Carolina – growing right under my bird feeder :D


  15. 7-21

    :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun:

    YES, sunflowers grow like weeds in the hot Texas sun. I’m a native Texas and one of my early memories is picking sunflowers on the fence row of our dirt road. I was amazed at all the ants that loved sunflowers too!
    Now I live in Aggieland (that’s Bryan/College Station for outlanders, south of Dallas, north of Houston and east of Austin.) We don’t have as many sunflowers here as where I grew up, which was north of Dallas/Fort Worth. We also have farmers here who cultivate them for their oil, It’s strange to see them marching in rows, all the same distance apart, across the fields. Looks like the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Marching Band!!
    As for the unicorns blowing bubbles, there’s no question they are in Austin.

    :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun:

  16. 7-21

    I live in West Tx and no sunflowers here just dirt. But in NE Arizona they grow wild and in the fields they look like a blanket of yellow. Just beautiful. I miss green and rain. Having a pity party here sorry!

  17. 7-21

    In Kansas we have plenty of wild sunflowers and many other yellow flowers. I read somewhere that Lady Bird Johnson called these DYCs (damed yellow composits). LOL Gingergoat

  18. 7-21

    My sisters favorite flower is Sunflowers. I have a friend who grows them in her potato patch for bird food :snuggle: .
    Here in Oregon we have Oxeye Daisy growing wild every where. Which I might add if a dairy cow eats them it makes the milk taste wierd, so we keep them out of the pasture and hay field. Not a problem!

  19. 7-21

    Wild sunflowers all over New Mexico too.

  20. 7-21

    I am not from Texas, but I see them growing on the sides of the freeway all the time in north San Diego county, SOCAL.

  21. 7-21

    Here in Kansas the wild sunflowers are in full bloom….I call them brown eyed susan’s. They aren’t the BIG ones. They will bloom here through early fall.

  22. 7-21

    Being a native Texan in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area I have seen sunflower growing everywhere. I know some people plant some in their yards. Back in June my husband I were going to West a small town north of Waco. There were fields on the side of the highway planted in sunflowers. Never thought that was something I would ever see. I figured they planted sunflowers somewhere for the seeds and flowers, but never before had I seen them planted in fields. Funny when I was a kid they were thought of as weeds.

  23. 7-21

    LOL! That’s funny! I have never seen or heard of wild sunflowers! That would be so cool!

  24. 7-21

    Yes, sunflowers grow wild in the country around the DFW area – I grew up in North Dallas and spent some time in the rural Sanger/Krum area, which is where I saw them. There are mini-sunflower-like flowers that grow wild along the country roads here in Missouri where I live now, but they’re just little country cousins to those big Texas sunflowers.

    I do love the wild tiger lilies that grow wild here – and some of the wildflowers are beautiful, but can’t hold a candle to the wildflowers of Texas. Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, evening primrose, mexican hats, black-eyes susan, red clover … I sure miss them in the spring.

  25. 7-21

    Wild Sunflowers!! I never knew!

  26. 7-22

    Texas has the most amazing display/array of wildflowers, sunflowers being one of the countless varieties.

    Y’all come check us out.

  27. 7-22

    Wow, all this talk about TX wildflowers is really making me homesick. :cry: Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush are 2 of my favorites. I’m so excited that I will actually be there next Spring to enjoy them in person! :purpleflower:

  28. 7-23

    We definitely have lots of wild sunflowers in the DFW area! I’m another one who thought they were weeds when I was a kid, but I appreciate them more now. The weather wasn’t great for our wildflowers this year, but last year was amazing! :purpleflower:

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