Fun Fact About Sunflowers
The scientific name of sunflowers is Helianthus, Helia for sun and Anthus for flower.
Sunflowers are a great choice for planting to attract birds to your yard.
Sunflowers are one of the fastest growing plants. They can grow 8 to 12 feet tall in rich soil within six months.
Do you know what country grew the tallest sunflower? The Netherlands (25' 5.5" tall) grown in 1986 by M. Heijmf.
It require only 90 to 100 days from planting to maturity.
The former Soviet Union grows the most sunflowers. The sunflower is the national flower of Russia.
The sunflower is native to North America and was used by the Indians for food and oil. Some farmers use it to feed their livestock.
We use sunflower seeds to make oil, bird seed and for snacking. They have lots of calcium and 11 other important minerals. They do have 50% fat, BUT it is mostly polyunsaturated linoleic acid.
Wild sunflower is highly branched with small heads and small seeds, in contrast to the single-stem and large seed head of domesticated sunflower.
Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. The large petals around the edge of a sunflower head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seed.
A well-known sunflower characteristic is that the flowering heads track the sun's movement, a phenomenon known as heliotropism.
The daily orientation of the flower to the sun is a direct result of differential growth of the stem. A plant-growth regulator, or auxin, accumulates on the shaded side of a plant when conditions of unequal light prevail. Because of this accumulation, the darker side grows faster than the sunlit side. Thus, the stem bends toward the sun.
Sunflower seeds are rich in oil, which they store as a source of energy and food. Sunflower seeds are crushed to give us oil. We can use sunflower oil for cooking.