Sunflowers remind us of the bright yellow color. This bright yellow flower stands as a symbol of positivity and happiness for most of us.
They are not just a pretty sight that nature has bestowed upon us. Their seeds have high nutritional value and are also used to make oil. Here are some fun facts about sunflowers that will brighten up your mood:
Fun Facts about Sunflowers
1. Sunflowers are native natural products of America.
The first plantation of sunflowers goes back to the sun-bathed land of North America. They soon became instrumental in making medicines, dyeing clothes, and extracting oil from its seeds.
This flower and its byproducts were exported to the rest of the world by Spanish conquerors. Sunflowers have a vibrant history behind their existence.
Tsar Peter, the former emperor of Russia, took back some sunflowers to his dominion. The beautiful bright and deep yellow and the black shades caught his attention.
It gained further popularity when Lent’s patrons realized that the orthodox church did not ban sunflower oil. Almost two acres of land is a prerequisite for growing these plants and maximizing profits.
2. Vincent Van Gogh painted sunflowers, for it gave him joy.
The world-famous painter Vincent Van Gogh painted sunflowers in the year of 1886. Two years later, he did a series of painting on it to decorate his house located in Arles.
A known fact is that he painted sunflowers for the sheer joy that it gave him. He loved experimenting with the colors and shapes, giving it more depth and painting the petals with some skillful brush strokes.
He also thought of sunflowers as his discovery. Other painters of his time painted many pretty flowers, but he was the first to paint a sunflower.
The series of sunflowers painted by Vangogh wonderfully depicts his style of painting. The series still stands as a significant influence on modern art.
Vangogh created them as a visual treat for the masses. There was no hidden agenda or a secret message, just a painting that was treated to the observer’s eye.
Post-Van Gogh, many famous artists, has tried to recreate his sunflower paintings. Unfortunately, out of the four original paintings that he had made, two of them remain missing.
One of the art pieces in the series was destroyed during the war. While the other one remains a part of a private collection.
3. Sunflowers are not always tall
On the contrary to popular belief, it is not a typical sunflower characteristic to be tall. Sunflowers have two parts to them based on their height they are.
Tall sunflowers grow up to 10-15 feet and, in some cases, even more. Sky scrapper and Russian Mammoth are examples of tall types of this variant.
Tall sunflowers, which we usually get to see in real life, photos, and videos, are deep yellow. Their tall nourished stems make them sturdy.
Due to its splendid height, there is a shortage of seeds. Many birds enjoy eating from the very top, making it a good site for bird watching.
Dwarf sunflowers originate in a nested condition. They grow up to a maximum height of 3 feet.
Most of the potted flowers found in houses are of this type. Little Becka and Pacino are examples of the dwarf variety of this flower.
5. Sunflowers have traveled to space.
Charles Darwin discovered that the tip of plants always tends to grow in a downward direction. This feature of a plant is also known as nutation.
But he couldn’t explain the reason behind this peculiar growth of a plant. For many years, scientific research said that this occurs in a plant because of gravity.
Sunflower seeds were carried to space in 1983 to study nutation. In simple words, the bending movement caused by different organs of a plant is called nutation.
Even without the presence of gravity, the sapling of the sunflower plants rotated with growth. It continues to be one of the mysteries of science.
6. Sunflower as mulch flower beds
Sunflower fields got cultivated near the nuclear accident sites of Chernobyl and Hiroshima. These fields had also grown in the tsunami-affected area of Fukashima.
The plantation was carried out to clean-up the areas. This was a magical discovery by scientists.
They proposed that plants like sunflowers may have the property of absorbing toxic metals and harmful radioactive elements. Scientists call these groups of plants as hyperaccumulators.
There is an ongoing search for the variants of a sunflower, which can lower the damages caused by natural or human-made calamities. It is a beautiful example of nature healing itself in different forms. (Read How Much Sun Do Roses Need)
Some more valuable information about sunflowers
As the name suggests, sunflowers require a lot of sunlight to bloom. They should be left for 6 hours a day to grow.
They also need a lot of water for their growth. They love sunshine, and you will always find them facing the sun.
They are known to have properties that can reduce inflammation. All kinds of seeds of sunflowers don’t produce oil.
Seeds of a sunflower can get divided into oilseed sunflowers and non-oilseed sunflowers. Non-oilseeds of a sunflower meant to be eaten by humans, and it has many nutritious values.
Sunflowers are very useful for making seed butter, a natural substitute for peanut butter or almond butter. For humans who are allergic to nuts, this is the perfect substitute.
The head of a sunflower consists of many tiny flowers, and they can self-pollinate in need. Scientists are researching the usage of sunflowers for treating cancer.
Here are some of the most intriguing yet unknown facts about a sunflower. Each part of the flower is used by different working sectors and spheres of life. It is so much more than just a visual treat that stands headstrong over vast acres of land.
Next time you come across a beautiful sunflower field and look up to it, you will also remember its rich history and these amazing facts.
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