Organic Farm Report: Sunflowers in Full Bloom

IMG_0239Everywhere on our organic farm, sunflowers are in bloom! This year, we planted several varieties of sunflowers to add biodiversity to attract honey bees. Our stunning sunflowers are popping and honey bee’s are buzzin’ all over the farm. As we admire these beautiful flowers, we were intrigued to learn more about them. There are so many fascinating facts about sunflowers and we had to share our top 20 favorites …

  1. Sunflower is the only flower with flower in its name!
  2. “Helianthus” is the scientific name of Sunflower, Helia for Sun and Anthus for Flower.
  3. Sunflowers are the symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration.
  4. They follow the movement of the sun across the sky from east to west, and this process is known as heliotropism.
  5. Sunflower oil was able to soften leather, condition hair, heal wounds, and is also used as cooking oil, medicine paint, animal feed and bio-diesel.
  6. Oil of sunflower is rich in minerals like calcium and iron and contains vitamin A and Vitamin D.
  7. Sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, and is the state flower of Kansas.
  8. Sunflowers are one of the fastest growing plants and they grow tall. On an average they grow up to 8-12 feet within six months.
  9. The Guinness World Record for the tallest sunflower is 25 feet 5 ½ inches, grown by M. Heijims in Oirschot, Netherlands in 1986.
  10. The sunflower with largest flower head is 32 ¼ inches in diameter (measured from the outer tip of the petal on one side to the outer tip of the petal on the opposite side), was grown by Emily Martin in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1983.
  11. Another fun fact is that 837 flowers were grown on a single plant by Melvin Hemker in Saint Charles, MI. in 2001.
  12. Bonsai technique was used to make the shortest mature sunflower record with 2 inches in height.
  13. The spiral formation of seeds in a sunflower almost always follows the Fibonacci sequence.
  14. A single sunflower can have up to 2,000 seeds.
  15. The sunflower head is made up of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers which are joined at the base. The large petals, which are found around the edge, are individual ray flowers, and do not develop into seeds.
  16. Cultivated sunflowers have a single stem and a large seed head, while in the wild they are highly branched with small heads and seeds.
  17. More than 60 varieties of sunflowers are found around the world in different shades. Some varieties also have striped petals.
  18. Not only we can find different colored petals, but also their centers vary in different shades.
  19. Sunflower seeds are found in two ways, black and striped.
  20. The black seeds are used to make oil and snacks are made out of striped seeds.

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