Sunflowers are yellow, right? That is what most people think or when they think of sunflowers, but there are actually other colors available. There are white, lime, orange and bicolor sunflowers, but one of the most dramatic is the red sunflower. Red sunflowers are a vivid red, generally growing darker as you get closer to the centre. A few cultivars of red sunflowers are available for the garden - these varieties include "Prado Red", "Moulin Rouge" and "Red Sun". The red sunflower is an extremely striking flower and adds a sense of drama to the back of a garden bed or planting. Read more about the red sunflower below and the unique qualities the red sunflower possesses.
The red sunflower exists for ornamental uses since there are many other types of sunflower that produces larger and greater quantites of sunflower seeds. It can grow to about 10 feet (3 meters) tall (depending on the variety) and is an impressive sight and a great conversation piece. The red sunflower also has the ability to grow multiple heads, giving it more flowers than the ordinary sunflower, hence improving the overall appearance of a planting in the garden. Single bloom yellow sunflowers, unless planted in a larger grouping or at the back of a garden bed, can tend to look a bit scraggly, especially after the sunflower heads have emerged.
The reason that the red sunflower is so special is that that it does not occur in the wild. The red sunflower is a result of breeding flowers so that they will gain unique and dramatic ornamental qualities. Dwarf red sunflowers are also available that grow in a bush-type planting and are only 20 - 24 inches high. As an atypical planting, the red sunflower is generally a seed that your local garden supply can order for you, or you can search online and purchase red sunflower seeds from many reputable online seed companies. Here is a great link I found that shows on one page a bunch of different varieties available. Any of these would present some fun and challenge to gardeners who like their plantings to be unique conversation-starters.
This is a hybrid sunflower, the deepest red I can currently find in my searches online. The velvety petals are a deep wine-red and flecked with golden splashes on the petal tips and a purple stem. The flowers measure 3-4" across on 4-5 ft plants. This sunflower is a very dramatic addition to the summer and fall garden!