Wild sunflowers grace the Anza Valley

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Visible along the roadsides and fields, sunflowers sport bright blooms and vibrant green foliage. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
With golden flowers and vibrant green leaves attached to long lanky stems swaying in the breeze, wild sunflowers continue their summer bloom in the Anza Valley. Related to domestic sunflowers, this Indigenous species, Helianthus californicus, inhabits various local habitats, providing bees, butterflies and moths a valuable food source. Native sunflowers benefit these important pollinators, as well as providing shelter and food for many insects and small animals. The prolific plants are known by the common name California sunflower. It is native to the state and also Baja California in Mexico. This perennial thrives in many types of habitats, sometimes filling whole fields and meadows with their cheerful presence. Sunflowers grow from woody roots with small rhizomes, continuousl
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