Sunflowers are mostly plants of open areas, tall enough to beat the other plants in the race for sun and pollinators. Woodland is an exception, typically only waist high, and perfectly happy in partly shady spots in woods or at their edge. Woodland also blooms earlier than most; you could see them around here right now. They grace the woods of AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI(S), SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV, ON, and QC(V). Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 7/21/11.