The sunflower is native to North America and was first grown as a crop by indigenous tribes over 4,500 years ago. Native Americans cultivated the sunflower from its original bushy, multi-headed type to produce a single-stemmed plant bearing a large flower.
Ukraine had the highest production volume of sunflower seeds of any country in the world in the 2019/2020 crop year. During that time period, Ukraine produced around 16.5 million metric tons of sunflower seeds.
The name sunflower comes from the Greek helios “sun” and anthos “flower.” Sunflower got its name because the flowers turn toward the sun. Some kinds of sunflowers are grown for food, seeds and oil. A sunflower head can produce up to 1,000 seeds.