You sure do make it like a sunny time
Returning from holiday last weekend we were delighted to discover that our sunflowers had decided to flower. We’ve had a few disappointing years with sunflowers so this was a delight as you can hopefully see.
Sunflowers are one of my favourite plants – partly because I look being able to look at a plant that is the same height as me, and partly because yellow is probably my favourite colour – I also love daffodils for this reason. Yellow is such a feel-good colour.
Sunflowers are also a mathematical marvel – the pattern of seeds within a sunflower follows the Fibonacci sequence and also the Golden Ratio.
Anyway, here are some random facts about sunflowers (mainly courtesy of www.goodhousekeeping.com)
1 – The sunflower originated in North and South America and were cultivated for their edible seeds as early as 1000 BC. The petals were used as cattle food. They were first brought to Europe by Spanish sailors in 1530.
2 – Each sunflower is actually hundreds of tiny flowers; the yellow petals and fuzzy brown centres comprise up to 2,000 seperate flowers.
3 – Each sunflower can contain as many as 1,000 to 2,000 seeds.
4 – There are about 70 different species of sunflower.
5 – The French word for sunflower is ‘tournesol’ which means ‘turns with the sun’ referring to the ways in which sunflowers always seem to turn their face to the sun. Of course those in our garden are doing the exact opposite.
6 – The tallest sunflower on record was over 30 feet tall.
7 – Sunflowers are actually good at absorbing toxins. Millions were plan in Japan after the reactors in the Fukushima nuclear power plant were destroyed by the tsunami in 2011.
8 – The Incas worshipped the flowers as a symbol of their sun god.
9 – The series of still-lives with sunflowers which Vincent van Gogh painted in 1887 and 1889 are amongst the world’s most famous works of art.