“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do.” - Helen Keller
With their bright yellow petals, and tall strong stems, sunflowers conjure up images of hot lazy days in the summertime. Usually blooming from the middle of summer through to early autumn - roughly July to September, these cheery blooms come in a range of different sizes and shades. Their round flower heads look like the sun and are an instant mood-boost and these heat and drought-tolerant plants make them relatively easy to grow. Read on to find out a few more interesting facts about the stunning sunflower.
Originating in the Americas, sunflowers were grown as a crop by indigenous people from Mexico to Southern Canada. With edible seeds and oil, as time went on, commercial production and breeding began. Sunflowers were cultivated in temperate and tropical regions as food crops for humans, cattle, and poultry, and as ornamental plants too. The seeds and sprouts of the sunflower have many medicinal uses. Alongside nutrients and antioxidants, they also have high concentrations of vitamins A, B and C. Sunflowers also contain many minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron, and sunflower oil is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, so eat up!
Before blooming, sunflowers turn towards the sun in order to gain more sunlight for photosynthesis, and this is actually where their name originates from. The genus, Helianthus, comes from the Greek “helios” meaning sun, and “anthos” meaning flower. Each "flower" is actually a disc made up of tiny flowers, in order to form a larger false flower to better attract pollinators. Sunflowers are in fact excellent pollinator-attracting plants, and insects such as honey bees love them!
Sunflower symbolism can vary across different religions and cultures. In China, people associate sunflowers with long life, good fortune and vitality. Whilst to some indigenous peoples, the sunflower represents bounty, harvest and provision. In some religions, sunflowers symbolize worship and faithfulness because of their resemblance to the sun, which is in turn linked with spiritual knowledge and the desire to seek light and truth. Generally, though, they are known for being “happy” flowers and are associated with adoration, loyalty and longevity. The bright yellow colour of these fun fleurs denotes vitality, intelligence and happiness, and the colour yellow traditionally signifies friendship, so sunflowers are the perfect gift to send to a pal or loved one.
Sunflowers also appear time after time in art. Most famously, the flowers were the subject of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers series of paintings, which included Vase With Twelve Sunflowers, Two Cut Sunflowers, and Four Cut Sunflowers.
So, if you feel in need of a bit of sunshine, or you’d like to send a gift to brighten someone else’s day, then head over to our website where you can place an order for delivery or pickup.
And to finish, here’s a few quick sunflower facts for you:
- Sunflowers are often given on 3rd year wedding anniversaries as signs of adoration, loyalty, and strength
- The sunflower is the state flower for the US state of Kansas
- The sunflower is the official symbol of the Vegan Society
- The national flower of Ukraine is the sunflower