It is confusing because in Japanese, the same kanji (characters) can be pronounced more than one way, and the same name can be written with different kanji and thus have different meanings.
The vocabulary word for "sunflower" is "himawari" (not "hinawari") written either 日回り or 向日葵.
The last two kanji above, 日葵, can be pronounced "Hinata" as a given name and this also has the meaning of "sunflower." But there are more than 80 other ways to write the name Hinata. To pick just a few at random:
日向 "sunny place" 陽向 "facing the sun" 日菜多 "sun and many plants" 妃南 "southern princess" 日暖 "warm sun"
So, it is entirely likely that two girls could be named Hinata, but the name of one would mean "sunflower" and the other, "sunny place." It is beyond the scope of this site to list every possible kanji for each Japanese name, but 日葵 "sunflower" is one of the more common ways to write Hinata. Most common of all is ひなた, which is hiragana (Japanese phonetic script) and has no particular "meaning."
By the way, Hina and Hinata have been two of the most popular names for baby girls in Japan for several years.
This message was edited by the author on March 1, 2010 at 7:06:46 AM