Iconography of domesticated sunflower

  • Jules JANICK Purdue University, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, West Lafayette IN 47907-2010
Keywords: domestication; iconography; Helianthus annuus; Mexico; New Spain, sunflower


Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is indigenous to the New World with domesticated types characterized by a single stem with a large seed head. Archeological evidence has indicted that domestication occurred in the Eastern United States. However, images of domesticated sunflower are found in a pre-Hispanic Aztec stone sculpture, various 16th century images from New Spain (present day Mexico), and 16th century European herbals based on imported seed. Iconographic, linguistic, and archaeological evidence confirm that the domesticated types were known by the Aztec previous to the conquest of Cortés in 1522. This evidence suggests either an independent domestication of sunflower in Mexico or a pre-Hispanic migration from North America.


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How to Cite
JANICK, J. (2020). Iconography of domesticated sunflower. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 48(3), 1116-1129. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha48312015
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