Central America, actually. Scientists have found signs of the earliest sunflower plants from 2600BC in Mesoamerica – present-day Mexico. The article below documents a full breakdown of the search for the origination of the sunflower plant.
Sunflowers were first haversted in Central and North America. Sunflowers were grown by native americans for culinary and medicinal reasons as early as 2,600 B.C.
Well, recent fossil evidence does not definitively state that the sunflower itself originated in South America. What it does state is that the ancestor of the Asteraceae family (which includes daisies, marigolds, dahlias, and chrysanthemums as well as sunflowers) seems to have originated around 50 million years ago in the southern Argentinian part of Patagonia. The domestication of sunflowers themselves may be more accurately traced back to Mexico around 2600 BC. It is uncertain whether it spread to North America from there, or whether American Indians domesticated sunflowers on their own after this time.
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