Sunflowers (Helianthus) are loved for their bright, refreshing appearance. They follow the direction of the sun and can grow up to more than 10 feet tall. There are over 70 varieties of sunflowers of different sizes and shapes.
Each sunflower is made up of thousands of tiny flowers. The remarkable yellow petals and fuzzy brown middles are actually flowers in themselves!
Sunflowers are best harvested in the morning as they are less likely to wilt. People have been growing sunflowers for ornamental purposes or processing into sunflower products.
Dried sunflower seeds are natural bird feed. Their seeds contain about 1,000 to 2,000 seeds that not only animals, but also humans love to munch on.
A French term for sunflower is “tournesol,” which means “turns with the sun” because sunflowers follow and face where the sun is during their bud phase. This response of the plant is called heliotropism.
To date, the world’s tallest sunflower is over 30 feet tall. It was grown in Germany.
Sunflowers aren’t just beautiful, but they also absorb environmental toxins. In Japan, it is said that millions of sunflowers were planted after a tsunami demolished nuclear reactors in the Fukushima power plant for this purpose.
When growing them, make sure to research their proper requirements to be able to enjoy their growth and bloom.