The amazing sunflower facts remain the best knowledge for everyone who preserves the existence of this flower. But, it is a pity that some people are not aware that this flower is still very fragile. Regardless of their abundant existence, sunflowers need more preservation effort than many people could imagine before.
Sunflower Facts and How We Can Keep Them Blooming
It is very interesting to find a flower that can follow the direction of the sun. This is not a surprising fact, though. But, there are some unexpected things about the sunflower that relates to its ‘watchfulness’
to the sun movement. Sunflower has a unique characteristic which is called heliotropism. It is the movement of the sunflower in the sun’s direction. It faces the east during the sunrises and changes its direction to the west in the afternoon.
- The Origin
The origin of sunflower was from North America and South America. Its Latin name is Genus Helianthus in which has more than seventy species with various colors. Though we recognize that the sunflower is yellow, there are still other attractive colors available.
- The Basic Description
What we see daily is the H. annus species. It is an annual plant that has a coarse stem with hairy characteristics. It has 1 to 4.5 meters high, and the leaves can reach 7,5 up to 30cm long, in which the form is like spirals. The flower heads in wild specimens start from 7.5 up to 15 cm wide. But, the cultivated sunflower heads can be bigger than 30cm. there are different colors of disk flowers. They are yellow, purple and brown. The yellow color comes from the ray flowers that resemble the petal.
- Beautiful and Multifunctional
The charm of a sunflower comes from the yellow dye that is yielded by the flowers. The leaves have the main function as fodder. The food source of the sunflower comes from the seeds that contain oil and nutrition. The oil is also yellow, which color is produced by the seeds’ compression. The oil nutrient is highly functional, in which it has similar benefits to olive oil. This is why most skincare manufacturers use sunflower oil as one of their main ingredients.
The sunflower oil cake is not less functional. It is popular among farm owners, in which they can use them for poultry and stock feeding. The seeds can be used for daily consumption, whether they are roasted or dried, and they can become birdseed. So, both human beings and birds like to munch on sunflower seeds.
- Flowers Inside Flowers
Have you noticed why the petals look so dense? You might also notice that the centers with the brown colors look dense as well? Both petals and centers are formed of blooming flowers, which reach approximately 2,000 flowers! The beauty of sunflower is beyond imagination that it is full of mystery, isn’t it? it is good in wild areas, while it is also perfect as the main patio decoration. For those who plan to put them in a vase, it is important to notice that growing this flower should be clipped in the morning. In the afternoon, they can become wilt.
- The Main Neutralizer for Nuclear Radiation
Another amazing fact of sunflower is its ability to soak up radiation, toxins as well as other bad substances in the air. it was the main reason why the Japanese government was planting millions of sunflowers for soaking up radiation, after the tsunami that destroyed the nuclear power plant reactors in Fukushima several years ago.
- Oil Seed vs Non-Oil Seed
It was explained previously that both human beings and birds love sunflower seeds. But, there are actually several differences between the seeds for human consumption and the ones for those feathery creatures. The seeds that contain oil are the ones that are used for bird food. The oil is obtained from the crushed seed, which can also become the skincare and cooking ingredient. But, the seeds that contain no oil are the ones that are made for human snacks, in which they are roasted by using a little amount of salt or peanut butter.
- Healthy Seed Butter
The extracted oil of the butter can also be used for butter in which contains a higher amount of nutrients than peanut butter. It also contains very low saturated fat, so it is the best and the safest butter for everyone of all ages.
- How Tall is The Sunflower
The sunflower can reach up to thirty feet tall. But it is a rare condition, in which this species was specifically cultivated in 2014 in Germany. However, this species is still unbeatable because there is no one can cultivate the same height as sunflower until now. The 30-feet-tall sunflower was recorded as the tallest one by Guinness World Record in 2014. It was Hans-Peter Schiffer, who managed to break the world record twice.
- Removing Soil Contaminants
We have read previously that sunflower is very effective in reducing toxins and radiation, even from nuclear. But, it is also amazing to find out that sunflowers can get rid of soil contaminants. Thanks to its phytoremediators which are perfect for cleaning bad substances in the soil. Most lands, where sunflowers are planted will become very fertile.
The sunflower becomes the symbol of several countries, organizations, and foundations. Kansas, one of the states in the US, uses sunflower as the state flower. While Ukraine also uses sunflower as its national flower. Other countries use sunflower as symbols of various meanings. In Chinese, a sunflower is the symbol of luck and long-lasting happiness. Even the ancient Incas worshiped this plant, due to its ‘magical movement’ towards the sun activities.
Healthy Source of Vitamin D
Sunflower facts are very interesting, aren’t they? The most interesting above all else is the richness of vitamin D that sunflower contains. It actually makes sense because there is no other creature in the world that stands to face the sun throughout the day, for the whole year. The only sunflower can do it.