They’re tall and bright, striking and unusual, sunflowers are one of the most fun flowers to grow. Read on to discover some fascinating facts about these sunny, yellow flowers!
1. The name sunflower comes from its scientific name, Helianthus. Helios means sun and Anthos means flower.
2. Sunflowers have a long history. Remains of sunflower seeds found in archaeological digs in North America date them as nearly 3,000 years old.
3. There are lots of different varieties of sunflower, but the most common form is bright yellow, with dark brown centres filled with seeds.
4. Sunflowers are believed to have first originated in Europe in the early 1500s. The seeds, as well as the flowers themselves, were brought over by Spanish settlers returning to visit relatives.
5. As well as being grown for pleasure by members of the public, sunflowers are also grown commercially. Part of the commercial growing focuses on producing edible seeds and the other half is concerned with producing sunflower oil. Every mature flower is able to yield 40% of its weight as oil.
6. The Aztecs were fascinated by sunflowers, which often towered high above the ground. In fact, they even ended up worshipping sunflowers and used images of the distinctive flowers in their temples.
7. In the past, stems of sunflowers were used inside life jackets.
8. Sunflowers are well known as having the ability to grow very tall! As well as having a long stem, the heads of sunflowers can be equally huge.
9. In recent years, a form of low-pollen sunflower has been created. As well as helping to reduce the risk of asthma for pollen sufferers, it’s also helped extend the life of the flower itself.
10. New varieties of sunflowers are continuously being developed. Some of the newer forms are orange, tan or maroon in colour, or even have striped petals. Plus, they have greeny yellow centres instead of the distinctive brown one we all know and love.
And lastly, do you know where in America is known as The Sunflower State?
the above text was taken from hot fact.com