I’ve been growing a sunflower that I was given, and I’ve put the photos of said sunflower on the fridge – my neighbour thought that I might like them. Next summer, I hope to have some seeds from this flower (which has now died) and some purple seeds!! Hopefully next summer I will have more than one sunflower!
The common sunflower has a scientific name: Helianthus annuus. The plant is native to the America’s – Kansas is also known as the Sunflower State. However, the sunflower is also the national flower for Ukraine.
Sunflowers can grow up to 10 foot tall and the flower head can be 30 cm wide. In the right sunny conditions, a sunflower can grow 8-12 foot in 6 months. Mine didn’t quite make 8 foot tall, but maybe 6 foot. I’m not complaining seeing as the heat dried it up a few times over when I wasn’t able to water it. And, I crispied up it’s leaves by putting suncream on it (I was trying to help it!). According to the Guinness Book of Records, the tallest sunflower on record grew to 30’1″ in Germany in 2014. One day, I will beat that record…
Other facts about the sunflower include:
- The sunflower can be used to make sunflower oil and it can be used for its fruit (the seeds)
- The flower is actually a pseudanthium of small individual, 5-petal florets
- The sunflower has 17 chromosomes
- The sunflower is sexually sterile
- The sunflower needs full sun
- The sunflower is a symbol of the Vegan Society
- The sunflower can be destroyed by fusarium (fungi) and downy mildew
- Sunflower seeds are best sown 1 inch below the surface of the soil