Friday, August 17, 2007

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SUNFLOWERS

Besides sharing some pictures of my Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) I wanted to share some fun facts about them. I hope you well Enjoy.

The name Sunflower originates from the Greek word 'helios' meaning Sun and 'anthos' meaning Flower.
The large petals around the edge of the Sunflower are ray flowers which do not produce a seed. Sunflower heads consist of 1000 to 2000 individual flowers

joined together by a receptacle base.

Native to North America, Sunflowers have been grown as a food crop for

1000's of years by the Indians.

Sunflowers in bud stage exhibit heliotropism. Which means they follow the sun.


Sunflowers are in the Asteraceae family. Which is the second largest plant family

with 20,000 members.

Sunflowers when mature yield up to 40% of their weight in oil.


Sunflower stems were used to fill life jackets before the advent of modern materials.


Floating rafts of Sunflowers are being used to clean up water contaminated as a result of the 1986 accident Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. The roots of sunflowers remove up to 95% of the radioactivity in the water by pulling contaminants out of the water.

41 comments:

Catherine said...

Your sunflowers and photo's of them are gorgeous, also enjoyed all the info.-facts on sunflowers very interesting! I especially love the white one~is that what they call the Italian white?

Dirty Fingernails said...

I grew the sunflower variety there along time ago.. I need to start some here next year.. Thanks for the cattle prod to get me going on something new.. There are so many little birds here, I know sunflowers would be a huge hit.

Layanee said...

I love the way you matched text color to the sunflowers. Where can I get a pink one! Enjoyed the fun facts also. Thanks!

Bob said...

Catherine, the white one is more of a pale yellow. I think that hybrid is called lemon drop or lemon queen. I got most of these seeds in a mixed packet from lilly miller called 'autumn beauty' which has about 12 different hybrids. I love it because it's always a suprise package. About 60 plants for $1.79, not bad! Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again.
All the best, BOB



Dirty fingernails, I often cut a few seed heads for the birds in October. I have grown in the past the 'mamoth' hybird which get seed heads up to 2 feet across. It was always popular with the steller jays, sapsuckers, and crows.
Happy gardening,BOB



Layanee, As mentioned above most of these came in a mixed packet. But the pink hybrid is called 'Strawberry Blonde'. If you you like a darker combination of this hybrid the closest is 'Indian blanket'. Hope this helps.
I always love questions. Thanks for stopping by. BOB:)

Anita said...

Oh yes Bob, I very much enjoyed your sun flower collection (hey, I you have any spare seeds this autumn, save them for our seed swap, okay?)

You have 20 roses at your garden? Oh my, that must look like heaven! Well, my new two ones are not really fragrant and that's a pity, indeed. But they are sooo beautiful!

I am now looking for standard double English/Old roses in white. Do you have any recommendations for me?

By the way, my pastella is a standard rose on a stem and the Biedermeier is a small border/patio rose. I actually bought them to plant them on the left and right sight of my Sissinghurst bench but now, I am quite unsure. Would they be too smal for that place? I'll post more pictures this Friday, it would be great if you give me some advice!

Best wishes from rainy Germany,
Anita

Bob said...

Anita, Thanks for the great questions. As far as the roses, David Austin has a few that might work. First is 'Claire Austin' it has wonderful fragrance and has that old fashion cabbage rose look. It's a new hybrid, the other is 'Winchester Cathedral'. It's also a David Austin rose and has been around a while. It's reported to be very hardy. I don't know how cold it gets in your area so you'll have to see which roses will perform best. If you wanted a tree roses there is a new tree rose called 'Pope John Paul II' its from Jackson Perkins roses. I don't know of the disease resistance of any of these roses. Double white fragrant roses are tricky to find.
I hope this helps. Both David Austin and Jackson Perkins are on the web if your interested in ordering.
I look forward to seeing the pictures on Friday of the bench and roses.
Take care, BOB

Andrea's Garden said...

This is the first year without sunflowers in my garden - I thought. One seeded itself between the fence to my neighbor and when I got back from vacation it was in full bloom and it is absolutely great. This is one of my fondest memories of living in Kansas all these years ... the unbelievably huge sunflower fields. Great post, thanks,Andrea

lisa said...

Love the pics and the interesting factoids! Great job!

Kylee said...

Wow. This was one great post! I may link to it if I post some pictures of my own sunflowers, if that's okay. You've got such great and interesting information here!

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