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Magnificent Sunflowers – Beautiful and Healthy

Updated on June 25, 2019
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I love beautiful scenery and the changes of the season offer us some scenes of beauty and I love to travel. Learn from travel experience.

Sunflower Closeup

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The Sunflower

Sunflowers are a symbol of adoration as they turn their heads to the sun and stand higher than all the other flowers. They belong to the genus Helianthus, which is a reference to Helios, the Sun God.

Sunflower Facts

What do you know about sunflowers?

Sunflowers are found around the world, and they are native to the Americas. It is the state flower of Kansas, plus the natural flower of Russia.

Sunflowers are usually bright yellow with a central disc of reddish brown, but there are new varieties with different colors. The head of the sunflower actually consists of 1000 to 2000 individual flowers.

Sunflowers vary in size depending on their genetic makeup; they can reach heights of 3 to 10 feet. Cultivated sunflowers can reach an incredible 20 feet, and they are one of the fastest growing plants in the world. They increase in height up to 1 foot a day.

By Poet Thomas Moore

Famous song referencing sunflowers is "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms"

...the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turned when he rose.

Van Gogh's Sunflower Masterpiece Hanging in a London Museum

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China's Million Sunflower Garden

The most beautiful sunflower garden is in China, called the Million Sunflower Garden and it is probably the only ecological garden in the Guangzhou region with the bright sunflower as its dominant theme. It is a great tourist attraction and thousands come to see the garden annually. This beautiful garden can be viewed like no other else on earth, and it's been nominated for a position in the Guinness Book World Records.

There are flowers in bloom all year round, so the park is always beautiful. The Million Sunflower Garden has many varieties of sunflowers, and one of the common ones is called sunshine sunflower, with a green center and bright yellow petals. Others are the red sunflower, the super sunflower which are new variations in the sunflower family.

The favorite sunflower among them is the one that's named after the famous painter Van Gogh. The inspiration for this name came from the famous Holland painter, Vincent Van Gogh, due to his masterpiece of Sunflowers, that has captured the hearts of many people

Part of Million Sunflower Garden

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Nansha Grand Hotel

There are many excellent hotels at reasonable prices in Guangzhou, China, as thousands of tourists visit each year. One of the nicer hotels is Nansha Grand Hotel.

The hotel is located in the New Coast City of Guangzhou, facing the ocean and backed by the Puzhou Mountain. The scenery looks beautiful if you ever get a chance to visit.

Garden of Million Sunflowers

The Great Sunflower Project

The Great Sunflower Project is looking for citizen scientists all over the US to plant some flowers and observe how many and what kind of bees buzz by them. They are asking you just to look for 30 min. twice a month and record what you see.

They are looking for people to help in urban, suburban, and rural environments and participants can be any age. When the project is complete San Francisco State University will use it to make a coast-to-coast pollination map, showing where bees are and aren't throughout the United States.

Sunflower garden

Sunflowers Easy to Grow

Sunflowers are very easy to grow as they are bold are tough. They look beautiful along the fence line with their beautiful color. Plant sunflower seeds in the early spring once you've prepared some moist soil. They tolerate most soil types, and their roots grow deep. This allows them to tolerate some drought.

The seeds come in several colors black, white, red and black and white striped. You start them indoors in 4-inch peat pots or you can sell them directly into the soil. Plant the seeds added depth of 2 inches in space a foot apart in rows spaced 24 inches apart. Very tall varieties are those with extra-large heads will need even more space.

Don't over water or underwater these flowers but attempt to keep the moisture levels consistent. Plant the seeds in a sunny location that has good drainage and avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen.

Sunflower Garden

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Harvesting and Roasting your Sunflowers

Once you cut the flower heads off, let the heads dry until the front of the heads turning crispy brown in the back of the heads are yellowish. Then, you can lay them on a flat covered table and rub the front of the sunflower heads and the seeds will easily pop out. Children love to do this task.

Roasting Sunflowers

Two ways to roast sunflower seed – salted or unsalted

Salted:

  1. Dissolve about 1/3 cup of salt in 2 quarts of water.
  2. Soak the sunflower seeds, shelled or un-shelled, overnight in salted water.
  3. If you want to move the project along a little faster, you can boil the seeds in salted water for a couple of hours instead of soaking.
  4. Preheat your oven to 300°.
  5. Drain the seeds the next morning, and dry them by patting with a dish towel or letting them dry on absorbent paper towels.
  6. Spread the sunflower seeds evenly on a baking sheet; you can use aluminum foil or parchment paper on the baking sheet.
  7. Roast the seeds for 30 to 40 minutes, stopping halfway through to turn and jiggle them in the pan for more even cooking.
  8. When the seeds are finished, let them sit until they are cool. Shell then if you did not do so prior to roasting.
  9. Store the roasted seeds in an airtight container.

Unsalted

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°.
  2. Place shelled or un-shelled seeds evenly on a baking sheet, with or without aluminum foil or parchment paper underneath.
  3. Roast the seeds for 30 to 40 min., stopping halfway through to turn the pan and jiggle the seeds for even cooking. The siege should be a rich golden brown color when they are done, and they may have small cracks in them.
  4. Store the roasted seeds in an airtight container.
  5. If you like, sprinkle salt on the seeds before you serve and eat them.

Summary

Sunflowers are so gorgeous and majestic that even if you don't want to harvest the seeds, you can enjoy the beauty of the colored flowers in your yard.

Sunflower seeds are very healthy, containing vitamin E, selenium, proteins, folate, magnesium, tryptophan, phytochemicals and dietary fiber. They can be consumed raw or toasted and are convenient for snacks or to add to salads, bread or pancakes.

I have always bought sunflower seeds to eat in the store but I may try harvesting my own this year. I think sunflowers livened up my yard beautifully.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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