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Pictures Of Sunflowers, Buds To Blooms

Updated on October 1, 2012
Sunflower Closeup Photo Modification
Sunflower Closeup Photo Modification | Source

Sunflower Photos

When given sunflower seeds to sow, a photographer must sow said seeds, then reap the image harvest! I was given a sandwich bag full of what looked like old dried hay and debris. Well, it turns out this bag actually contained the beginnings of a beautiful sunflower patch. I kicked up an inch or so of dirt at the perimeters of my garden and tossed a few handfuls of the seeds in place, kicking the soil back over them. I added a little water for good measure, and walked away, imagining nothing would come of such decrepit little bits. I was absolutely wrong!

Growing Sunflowers - Beautiful Timelapse Video

A Sunflower Garden Surprise

Several weeks after haphazardly planting my sunflower seeds, I had the joy of finding tall elegant stems of green leafy buds and bright yellow sunflowers trimming my backyard summer vegetable garden! The photo-op was irresistible! This article and the photos within it, are the visual harvest I took away from the experience of growing my own sunflowers. In the process, I learned about sunflower origins and even that sunflowers have their own math. Every photo in the article is shot on my little patch of sunshine, and the text will fill you in on what I happily discovered about these divinely sunny flowers. I hope you enjoy.

Picture Of A Sunflower

Tall Sunflower
Tall Sunflower | Source

What Is A Sunflower

The Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

The sunflower is a flowering plant that is native to the southeastern United States, originating approximately 5000 years ago. It springs up from the soil to grow quite tall—5 to 12 ft (1.5 to 3.5 m)—and undeniably elegant. Each stem flashes its own bright yellow inflorescence. This large flowering head has become a favorite of onlookers and artist alike. Along with its good looks, this flower offers a wonderful plethora of seeds—each individual flower can provide hundreds of seeds—which make a tasty snack food! The sunflower's vibrant presence first landed in Europe in the 16th century. This was where more than just its "sun-like" beauty was put to good use. The discovery of four main applications of the sunflower brought new inspiration to those growing the beautifully blazing-yellow blooms. The seeds, oil, leaves, and stalks provide many useful uses throughout the world.

Sunflower Bud
Sunflower Bud | Source

Main Products Derived From Sunflowers

4 Uses For The Sunflower

  1. The heads of each flower will produce more than one hundred seeds that can then be harvested, dried or cooked and utilized as a nutritional food source.
  2. Sunflower oil is extracted from the plant and used in many culinary applications.
  3. The leaves of the sunflower can be added to cattle food, which in turn, boosts the quality of the feed.
  4. Last, but not least, we come to the stems of the flowers. These tall slender stalks contain a hardy fiber that can be used in the manufacturing of paper products.

When Is A Seed A Flower

The Sunflower Head

That big beautiful mature flower at the top of each sunflower stem is, in reality, a composite flower—or more familiarly known as the "flower head." This flower head consists of many smaller flowers that are all bunched together tightly. The outside florets that create the petals are sterile florets, ranging in color from yellow to red and beyond. At the very center of the head you will find little disc-florets. When these grow to maturity, they are the fertile seeds by which the plant propagates.

Fibonacci Numbers Sunflower Pattern

The spiral pattern at the center of a sunflower has a mathematical foundation.
The spiral pattern at the center of a sunflower has a mathematical foundation. | Source

Sunflower Math

The Arithmetic Of Flowers: Fibonacci Numbers

Mother nature is a brilliant old gal. She has designed the fertile section of the flower head so that the most number of seeds (florets) can be packed into the circular space. When you look at the center cluster of a sunflower, it is apparent that the pattern spirals in its formation. But, the math of this spectacular design proves nature's understanding of mathematics is even more amazing.

Formula For The Sunflower Cluster Spiral Pattern

For the most part, the florets inside the cluster (seed area) of a sunflower grow in tandem with one another at a 137.5° angle, which creates the interconnected spiral formations visible within the center of each plant head. Within this pattern, the number of left and right spirals are sequential recurring numbers, which are specific numbers—Fibonacci numbers. As a general rule, we find 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other. Bigger flowers can have 89 in one direction and 144 in the other[1].

Sunflower floret mathematical arrangement.
Sunflower floret mathematical arrangement. | Source

Why Are Sunflower Spirals Important

This pattern of spirals, packed together in such an obscure manner, makes for the greatest number of seeds to be configured within each flower's head. This mathematically assures a prolific future for the sunflower species. After all, the more seeds a flower produces, the more likely it is that a number of them will grow to maturity, thus, seeding new generations.


Sunflowers In The Garden

Sunflowers | Source

SUNFLOWER Scientific Classification

(click column header to sort results)
Binomial name  
Helianthus Annuus  
H. annuus

Sunflower Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sunflower StripSunflower Soft LightNew Sunflower BloomYellow SunflowerSunflower PetalsVery Yellow SunflowerSunflower blooming Back of Sunflower Sunflower FloretsSunflower Direction
Sunflower Strip
Sunflower Strip | Source
Sunflower Soft Light
Sunflower Soft Light | Source
New Sunflower Bloom
New Sunflower Bloom | Source
Yellow Sunflower
Yellow Sunflower | Source
Sunflower Petals
Sunflower Petals | Source
Very Yellow Sunflower
Very Yellow Sunflower | Source
Sunflower blooming
Sunflower blooming | Source
Back of Sunflower
Back of Sunflower | Source
Sunflower Florets
Sunflower Florets | Source
Sunflower Direction
Sunflower Direction | Source

What You Think Really Does Matter!

Did you learn a little something about sunflowers by reading this article?

See results

Sunflower Symbolism

What Does The Sunflower Symbolize

Grown for their mesmerizing beauty, as well as for practical applications—food, oil, and paper products—may be why we find the sunflower to hold such great symbolism since their discovery. The number of meanings for this joyful flower are many, however; below you will find just a few.

Meanings Of The Sunflower

  • adoration
  • energy
  • happiness
  • state flower of Kansas
  • longevity
  • love
  • third wedding anniversary
  • warmth

Whether you adore this bright lovely flower for its symbolism or practicality, you must admit; the sunflower is one pretty amazing plant!

Comments for "Pictures Of Sunflowers, Buds To Blooms"

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  • jcsteele profile image


    5 years ago from Florida

    I absolutely love sunflowers they are one of my favorite flowers. Really good hub.

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 

    5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    I loved sunflowers. This was a beautiful hub. When in season, I buy them fresh at the farmer's market. I also have artificial sunflowers to decorate my home. It's my favorite flower. I didn't know about its many culinary and non-culinary uses, other than for sunflower seeds. Congrats on the editor's choice, too! Voted up, up and up!

  • loki1982 profile image


    6 years ago from Dallas

    Great article. I bought some seeds this year of an incredibly huge sunflower. Its supposed to grow over 18 inches across. I believe it was called Mongolian Giant. Not positive if that is the correct name.

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image


    7 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

    I love sunflowers. I just planted a couple of seeds recently, and I'm amazed at how fast they are growing, and how they stretch toward the sun.

    Thanks for sharing the photos, and this useful information with us.

    Have a great day!

    ~ Kathryn

  • tonymead60 profile image

    Tony Mead 

    7 years ago from Yorkshire


    I love sunflowers and usually grow a few each summer; their happy nodding heads and faces seem to welcome you into the garden. I call them my children and always good morning children to them as I make sure that the slugs have not managed to attack them.

    Nice hub voted up.



  • mvillecat profile image

    Catherine Dean 

    7 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

    My favorite flower. I live in a cottage and plant sunflowers each year in our garden. They mean joy to me. I voted up!

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 

    7 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    You photos are beautiful! I love sunflowers! Looking at sunflowers, just always makes me smile, as has your hub! I also learned quite a bit from your article here. Now you make me long for spring, so I can plant more sunflowers. I thing I will plant some around the edge of my vegetable garden this year! Again, your pictures are beautiful! Voting this up +++ and sharing! Have a beautiful day! :)

  • daisydayz profile image

    Chantele Cross-Jones 

    7 years ago from Cardiff

    I love sunflowers! they are just so happy and cheery. Sunflowers and Daisies are my fav flowers of all!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    @brittanytodd~ I am glad you learned a couple of things about these beautiful sunflowers! They are a fabulous plant in many ways. Thank you commenting!


    @Happyboomernurse~ Thank you so much for returning to pin! That just makes it all the more special!


  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 

    7 years ago from South Carolina

    Returned to pin this on my "Stunning Flower Photos" board.

    Hub Hugs,


  • brittanytodd profile image

    Brittany Kennedy 

    7 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

    What an equally beautiful and informational article! Sunflowers are so interesting. I didn't know a lot of the things you wrote in this article. Great work as always, K9! Keep it up.

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    @Teresa Coppens~ I agree with you, I would take a dozen sunflowers over roses every time! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the pictures, they did bring a bright yellow smile to my face when snapping the shots. I appreciate that you shared your thoughts here!


  • Teresa Coppens profile image

    Teresa Coppens 

    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    K9 sunflowers are my absolute favourite. I would gladly accept a bunch over roses any day. What a beautiful yet informative hub. Thanks for making my day with your stunning photographs!

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    @Mary615~ Thank you for such kind remarks regarding the hub. I found much more than yellow flowers by growing sunflowers! Always lovely to find you in the comments.

    HubHugs to you, and of course Baby!

    @chatkath~ What a special gift to find your wonderful thoughts among the comments here. Such a peaceful memory of your Mother and sunflowers you share; thank you. Wishing you a kind fulfilling day.


    @cclitgirl~ Awesome to find your comments here! I have missed seeing you I greatly enjoyed your support and teamwork during the Apprentice program! Thank you for your fine remarks on this hub! And the shares when the cyber world allows it! ;)

    Big HubHugs!

    @joanveronica~ Thank you for your kind response to the hub. I think you made my day! I sure appreciate the sharing, nothing like good old fashioned hublove!


    @rcrumple~ I was fascinated by the time lapse video as well, I was lucky to find such a cool visual event! Thank you for commenting!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    @Happyboomernurse~ So cool to find you here today! I learned so much about sunflowers doing this hub, and found every bit of it a joy to soak in. Thank you for making it by and for the hublove!

    Big HubHugs, my friend~

    @ carol777~ Thanks you for the up votes! Glad you enjoyed the images.


    @Daisy Mariposa~ Wow! I am honored by your enthusiasm regarding the hub! I hope it brings you a ton of bright-yellow happiness!

    HubHugs, Ma'am!

    @catsimmons~ I am amazed by the fractal pattern of the sunflower myself, and being able to watch it fill-in on the time-lapse video was fascinating, to say the least! Thanks for stopping b and commenting.


  • rcrumple profile image


    7 years ago from Kentucky

    Great article all the way around. The time lapse sequence was tremendous as the music accented the process impeccably. Great job! Absolutely beautiful!

  • joanveronica profile image

    Joan Veronica Robertson 

    7 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

    Beautiful! The pictures, the information and the organization of this Hub, all wonderful! Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting, also shared all over. Have a good day and please write more lovely Hubs!

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 

    7 years ago from Western NC

    Okay, so my internet isn't working that well...I will come back to tweet and pin. :) I hope you have a great evening, K9. Hubhugs!

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 

    7 years ago from Western NC

    You are becoming quite the photographer. Taking original photos and making them beautiful for HubPages will do that to you, LOL. I didn't know there were native to the southeast. Very cool! Unfortunately, I haven't had this success with the sunflowers, even though I am in the southeast: we have too much shade, as we border a forest, hehe. Oh well. I get to enjoy your beautiful photos and live vicariously through them. :D Beautiful! Voted/tweeted/pinned.

  • Chatkath profile image


    7 years ago from California

    Another wealth of information k9, I love sunflowers - my Mother used to stop on the side of a country road and pick them then we planted seeds in the backyard and watched them become huge happy sunny blooms, not to mention all the uses that you have told us about here! Bravo. Rated up and useful - Pinned & tweeted! Thanks for sharing.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    7 years ago from Florida

    I love Sunflowers! You did a fine job with this Hub. I loved your photography, and I learned a lot more than I knew about these beautiful flowers.

    I voted this UP, etc, will share, Pin and Tweet.

  • catsimmons profile image

    Catherine Simmons 

    7 years ago from Mission BC Canada

    I totally love this hub! Especially the time lapse photography...

    Watching the fractal pattern emerge was awesome. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful photography!

  • Daisy Mariposa profile image

    Daisy Mariposa 

    7 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


    You have outdone yourself with this article! It's well-researched, well-written, well-formatted, and well-illustrated. Your photographs are gorgeous!

    I'm sharing this in as many places as I can.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 

    7 years ago from South Carolina

    Wow! Thanks for this spectacular hub about sunflowers. The video was mesmerizing, as were all of the photos you took of your very own sunflower garden.

    I also enjoyed the uses and facts that you included and was fascinated by the math calculations of the seeds.

    Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

    Hub Hugs,


  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 

    7 years ago from Arizona

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos are lovely and thanks for taking time to bring all this beauty.. Voted UP.


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