ITS–The sunflower (Helianthus annuus), called bunga matahari (literally meaning “sunflower”) in the Indonesian language, is thus named because it is round like the sun and often faces the sun while blooming. The sunflower is native to North American countries but today has widely spread throughout the whole world. Almost every gardener or florist knows this big round flower, which is yellow or a brownish-red.
In Indonesia this plant grows at the altitude of 20 to 1500 meters. Often this plant is found growing wildly in the uncultivated land or along the river banks. The sunflower’s leaf has a serrated edge with the length of 7 to 45 centimetres and 3 to 45 centimetres in diameter.
Generally the stem has no branches but it is sometimes found also withbranches. The big flower can extend about 4 to 30 centimetres in diameter. The plant grows upright and reaches a height of 1 to 3 meters. They blossom throughout the year. The flower contains many seeds, formed like a lance, sometimes colored with some white stripes, and measure 2 and 6centimeters long. Thesunflower can easily be cultivated by seeding.
Besides being used as an ornamental plant, people use the seeds of the flower for making cooking oil, margarine, and other foodstuffs. Its seeds, if fried, can be nice snacks.