• Head characteristics;
  • multiple head;
  • oil content;
  • single head;
  • sunflower


Field trials were conducted during 2004 and 2005 to determine the effect of sowing seeds from plants with multiple heads and seeds from single headed plants of sunflower on seed yield, head characteristics and oil content of three widely grown open pollinated varieties (Funtua, Record and Isaanka) in the humid forest—savanna transition zone which is outside the current growing areas with a view to improving stability and sunflower productivity in this region. Seeds from multiple headed plants produced plants that flowered and matured 2–3 days later than plants from single headed plants. Apart from days to flowering in 2004, number of days to maturity and plant height were affected independently by variety and seed source factors. However, the seeds from single headed plants produced plants that recorded significantly (P < 0.01) higher head weight, head diameter, achene weight and number per head than plants from seeds of plants with multiple heads. Seed source had little effect on sunflower seed yield and oil content. However, Funtua produced significantly (P < 0.05) high seed yield (1956.0 kg ha−1 ± 76.06) when seeds from plants with multiple heads were sown, while Isaanka recorded comparatively high seed yield from seeds of plants from either multiple (1221.0 kg ha−1 ± 165.90) or single heads (1388.0 kg ha−1 ± 135.84) and Record (1201.0 kg ha−1 ± 96.97) when seeds from single headed plants were sown. Therefore, it is recommended that prospective sunflower growers who wish to cultivate Isaanka, can sow seeds from either the multiple or single head and preferably the multiple head for Funtua, and single head for Record.