Saturday, August 23, 2008

Helianthus


It's that time of year. Sunflowers. The plains are alive with patches of them; the lesser used roads are full of them; they obscure mail boxes and fence posts; they are everywhere.

Some interesting facts about sunflowers... Though the sunflower originated in the U. S., it's Russia's national flower and they grow more of them than anybody else. They can grow 8-12 feet in six months. The Dutch grew the tallest one on record, over 25-feet. Their habit of following the sun with their "heads" is called heliotropism. The Amerindians used them for food, and the seeds are 50% fat but mostly polyunsaturated. 40% of the mature flower's weight is oil. One sunflower can have 2000 seeds. The U.S. has sixty different varieties of sunflowers. The Aztecs worshipped the sunflower. 

Plus, they are damn beautiful.


2 comments:

Jason Plett said...

I don't know where you live, but it sure looks like Wyoming, my home. I am glad to see someone who can appreciate the beauty of the high prairie.

Brigid said...

That looks like where I want to retire. I'm in a rural community, but my piece of land is much too small. Someday.

I had some dead evergreens in the back of the property and ripped the stumps out and planted a big patch of sunflowers that I can see from my bedroom bay window. My favorite flower.