Sunflowers and Daisies: Differences and Similarities

To some people, sunflowers and daisies look the same. However, when you carefully examine the two plants, there are discernable differences. Let us dive into the similarities and differences of these flowering plants.

Similarities of Daisies and Sunflowers

Daisies and Sunflowers have the following similarities.

Bright Flowers

Sunflowers & Daisies are flowering plants that belong to the Asteraceae family. They have bright and cheerful flowers with similar shapes.

Their bright flower colors are commonly used in decoration and floral arrangements. Some people use one of the flowers, while others combine the two in their arrangements.


Growth Conditions

Daisies and Sunflowers thrive in areas full of sunlight. These flowering plants mostly bloom during late spring and early summer.

The two plants also favor areas with loose soil with good drainage.

Sunflowers and Daisies don’t need much care when grown, making them popular among gardeners looking for flowering plants with little maintenance.


Daisies and Sunflowers are angiosperms, meaning they produce flowers and seeds.

The seeds cluster in the middle of both flowers and are surrounded by a colored ring. The flower petal will fall off and leave the seeds to dry up.

Sunflower seeds and Daisies buds are edible. It’s common to see birds flock where any of these plants grow to eat the seeds.

Physical Attributes

Daisies and sunflowers have evergreen leaves and stems. Their stems are hairy and extend to the flower heads.

Differences Between Daisies & Sunflowers

Sunflowers & daisies differ in the following ways.


While daisies and sunflowers flower yearly, there is a significant difference in their lifespans. Daisies are perennial, while sunflowers are annual plants.

Sunflowers go through their life cycle in one season and then die off. They grow from seed, mature, flower, and produce seeds before drying out and dying off.

They will need to be replanted the following season. However, there are a few cases where mature sunflowers drop their fertilized seed.

These seeds will later grow to what is known as volunteer sunflowers.

Daisies, like sunflowers, will grow once a year. They will produce flowers when they mature, but the plant will die off.

In the following year, the plant will bloom again and produce flowers. The entire lifespan of a daisy can be 3 to 5 years, depending on the type.


Common sunflower variants have yellow, golden, or orange petals. The flower will have a black or brown ring where the seeds are.

While daisies can have white, yellow, or orange flower petals, the ring inside the flower is always yellow.

Sunflowers produce a single large flower on top of the plant, while daisies produce several smaller flowers. The flowers of a daisy plant have a random arrangement, while those of sunflowers have a spiral pattern.

Some sunflower varieties produce pollen, while others don’t. All daisies are heavy pollen producers. Due to this, sunflowers are more favorable to people with pollen allergies.

A quick way to tell the difference between sunflowers and daisies is by looking at the petals. A sunflower will generally have more flower petals compared to a daisy.

Sunflowers have between 11 and 25 petals, while daisy flowers have around 5 to 15 petals. Due to the large size of sunflowers, their petals are bigger than those of a daisy.



Sunflower seeds are edible and can also be used in oil production. The oil can be used in cooking and as an ingredient in some cosmetic products.

Consuming sunflower seeds has several benefits, including lowering the chances of high blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sunflower seeds are a source of minerals and vitamins that boost the immune system.

Daisy seeds cannot be used for oil production. That said, their buds and leaves are edible. They can be added to stews and salads.


Sunflowers bloom only once a year, while daisies tend to bloom through the year. Due to this, people looking to have flowers throughout the year will prefer daisies over sunflowers.

Physical Attributes of the Plants

Sunflowers are taller than daisies. In most cases, sunflower plants can grow up to 4 feet long. Some sunflower plants can even reach a height of 6 ft. 

Daisies are always shorter, with the plant’s size less than a foot.

The sunflower plant has long and thin leaves, while daisies have broad and short leaves. Also, the leaves of a daisy are more oval.

While the flowers of a sunflower plant can be as big as having a diameter of 8 inches, daisy flowers are much smaller and can only get to about 3 inches in diameter. The stems of a daisy plant are thinner than those of a sunflower.


Sunflowers are soft-hardy plants, meaning they can’t survive during cold seasons. On the other hand, Daisies are full-hardy plants and can thrive during winter.

You may notice a daisy flower protruding even when buried by snow.

Flower Meanings

Sunflower represents happiness, while a daisy flower symbolizes innocence. Sunflower is Kansas’s state flower.

Final Thoughts

Sunflowers and daisies have similarities, such as being angiosperms and having brightly colored flowers. The two have discernable differences ranging from flower size to petal arrangement.

While it can be hard to tell the two apart, the differences can be spotted if you look close enough.

Leave a Comment