- Arts and Design
Pictures Of Sunflowers, Buds To Blooms
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
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.
Main Products Derived From Sunflowers
4 Uses For The Sunflower
- 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.
- Sunflower oil is extracted from the plant and used in many culinary applications.
- The leaves of the sunflower can be added to cattle food, which in turn, boosts the quality of the feed.
- 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 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.
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
SUNFLOWER Scientific Classification
Sunflower PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
What You Think Really Does Matter!
Did you learn a little something about sunflowers by reading this article?
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
- state flower of Kansas
- third wedding anniversary
Whether you adore this bright lovely flower for its symbolism or practicality, you must admit; the sunflower is one pretty amazing plant!