How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sunflowers are fun flowers

By Suzanne Larsen
Posted 9/27/19

When I see sunflowers, they make me smile. They remind me of the smiley face icon you see everywhere these days.

They are wonderful in a vase on the table or they can produce kernels that can be …

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sunflowers are fun flowers

Posted

When I see sunflowers, they make me smile. They remind me of the smiley face icon you see everywhere these days.

They are wonderful in a vase on the table or they can produce kernels that can be used in cooking, to make oil and let’s not forget the many flavors of sunflower seeds available.

In North America, about 3,000 years ago, their seeds were found in clay vessels. There are about 150 species that make up the genus helianthus, which is their botanical name. Helios means sun and anthos means flower.

The French word for sunflower is tournesol — turns with the sun. There are many colors available for sunflowers including yellow, gold, bronze, mahogany, purple and orange. The colors all mimic the sun’s hues.

Scientists use the word heliotropic to refer to sunflowers because of their ability to face the sun from morning till night. They thrive in the United States on grassy plains, sandy woodlands and moist bottom lands. They range from 2 to 10 feet tall.

There have been several sunflower plantings in this area. A whole field of them is a sight to see with their flowers all facing the sun.

Some interesting facts about sunflowers:

If you desire to plant sunflower seeds, it’s best to plant after the last frost in May. There are many varieties to try and you can gather some seeds from the grown sunflowers and plant them again each year, which are a wonderful plant to urge bees to come into your yard. This also helps with the pollination of your garden vegetables.

Give sunflowers a try next year. They are definitely not just another pretty face in the garden.

(Suzanne Larsen of Cody is a master gardener.)

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