Sunflower Love - Images and More about Sunflowers
Sunfowers make me happy
I just love sunflowers, and can find no "downside" to them :) They are so happy and remind me of minature "suns" in the garden. They are bright and cheerful, and add such character to ones garden. Whether one or many, whether mammoth or smaller sunflowers, I love them all.
I wanted to share some of the ones I have grown over the years, all from seeds. To me, they are like miniature miracles that grow rather quickly considering their often towering nature and stature.
They live up to their name in more ways than one. They look like a sun with its rays extending outward. They also love to face the direction of the sunrise as they grow. I have observed this over the years, they literally love the sunshine and seem to "look" for it each day. After a long dark night, its amazing this flower knows what to "look for" as the sun rises. What an amazing flower.
Birds are also lovers of sunflowers. I have learned to not get upset when a beautiful little bird perches atop a sunflower, only to see it diggin in as if it struck gold!! Its really very minimal damage and free bird food from mother nature herself. No matter how many the birds take from a given seed head, I always have extra that I can dry and save to plant for the next year.
Sunflowers are usually annuals, and native to the Americas. You will find some though that will come back as perennials as well, often in the wild.
As far as history goes, I found it interesting to note that Native Incas used to worship the image of a sunflower, as it represented the sun god. It has been said that the sunflower was first domesticated in Mexico, around 2600 BC. About 300 years later, it was also domesticated possibly in the Mississippi Valley. Other examples of domestication have been known to date around that same time, 2300 BC in Tennessee. Later, the seeds were brought to Europe around the beginning of the 16th century.
The Aztecs and the Otomi of Mexico also were known to use the sunflower as a symbol of the sun deity. What a perfect flower to represent the sun, I can see why it was chosen as such.
Other interesting tidbits to note.... The sunflower is the state flower of Kentucky. It is also a city flower of Kitakyushu in Japan. Sunflowers are also the subject of Van Goh's most famous still life, sunflowers, a series of amazing paintings.
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