Photograph by Stephen Wolfe
A field of sunflowers bursts with color outside Milton, Florida, a small town of 7,000 near Pensacola.
An annual plant native to the Americas, the sunflower (Helianthus annuus) has been used since prehistoric times for ornamental and ceremonial uses, as well as for food. To date, the earliest domesticated sunflower seed was found at the San Andrés site in Tabasco, Mexico, dated to between 4,500-4,800 years ago. The second oldest domesticated sunflower seed discovered and dated to 4265 years ago, was found at the Hayes site in Tennessee.