Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Scientific name is Helianthus Annuus. The common sunflower is known for its beauty and seeds. The seeds are very good for us because they are high in Vitamin E, Manganese and Selenium. The seeds were bought to Europe from the Americans, in the 16th Century. Along with it came the sunflower oil. It became a wide spread cooking ingredient.
Sunflowers have big daisy like faces of bright yellow petals (occasionally red or purple.) They also have brown middles that ripen into heavy heads full of seeds. The fat leaves have a hairy sensation to it, so has the stalk. At the top is the flower sometimes you don't know if it's a sunflower until the seeds come.
Facts About Sunflowers
1. Young sunflowers follow the sun as it moves throughout the day.
The young sunflower looks east and greets the sun and turns to face it through the day and night it turns and starts the process again. When the sunflower hits maturity it just faces east.
2. Not all sunflowers are yellow. Some are purple or red!
Many different types of plants are red and so are some sunflowers. Red sunflowers come in different varieties. Some of them have daisy like heads which are often born as common yellow sunflowers. Red Sunflowers are one of the best ways to put colour into your bouquet's.
3. Sunflowers are native to the United States Of America.
4. There are thousands of tiny flowers that create a sunflowers head. Each flower produces a seed and that means heaps of seeds for us! If you look at the flowers with a magnifying glass, you'll see it has five tiny petals surrounding five stamens.
5. Each sunflower contains over 2000 seeds.
6. There are 70 species of sunflower. Some of the species are Common Sunflower, Woodland Sunflower, Perennial Sunflower.
7. Sunflowers need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day.
8. There is such thing as Sun butter (recipe at the bottom of the page).
9. They help clean up the air. Sunflowers are an outdoor plant, but it still will help you in your house if you plant them close.
10. Sunflowers belong to the family Asteraceae. Also, in the family are Artichoke, Chamomile, Cosmos, Marigold, Lettuce and Yarrow.
11. Sunflower is the only flower that says flower in the name. Isn't that special!
12. You can hang a dead sunflower head and make it a bird feeder. We are not the only ones who like sunflower seeds.
13. Bees are the number 1 best pollinator for sunflowers. They can collet all the nectar they can carry because of all the flowers.
14. Sunflowers are the symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration.
15. Sunflowers have a history of healing.
Were Do I Put My Sunflower In The Soil?
Sunflowers grow best in full sun. They will grow in any type of soil, but for success, grow where the soil drains well. Once they spout and start to grow, they are drought tolerant. They are easy to grow and if you leave the plant in, they often plant themselves. You can eat every bit of the sunflower even the leaves and stalk. Don't plant them near potatoes or pole beans.
Planting A Sunflower
Plant the sunflowers 6 inches or 7-8 cm apart and 1-2 inches or 3-4 cm depth.
Cover and keep watering until seeds sprout in 7 to 10 days.
When they get their second layer of leaves, space them out to about 2 feet apart.
Depending on the variety, sunflowers will develop seeds in about 80-120 days.
Sow new plants and watch them continue blooming until the frosts come.