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Sunflowers - Video of Amazing Plants That Follow the Sun

Updated on May 11, 2013

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Big, bright and gorgeous - sunflowers are a popular favorite flower. One of the things that is most fascinating about this plant is its ability to turn towards the sun, and follow it. This process is called heliotropism, which literarily means "sun turning".

The young plants and young flower heads will move from east to west during the day to catch the light from the sun. At night, the plants move back to face east ready for the next day.

The plants have a flexible section in the stem which contains special cells that respond to blue light.  They pump potassium ions into the nearby area.   Those parts of the stem stiffen as they become filled with these ions, making the stem move.

Interestingly, if the plants are deliberately turned around, they will move backwards for several days before they start to follow the sun correctly again.

Once the plant reaches maturity, it no longer moves.

Videos of Sunflowers Moving

This collection of videos demonstrate how the sunflower moves. They are filmed using a process called time lapse photography, where a photo is taken every so often from the same position, and then those photos are put together to create a video that appears to speed up time.

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    • SIJO1 profile image

      SIJO1 6 years ago

      Nice read. I have a few in the garden at the moment the children love them and so easy to grow.The kids are always fascinated how the flowers follow the sun

    • fridayonmymind profile image
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      fridayonmymind 6 years ago

      That's wonderful! I love it when nature teaches children lessons. It makes learning a lot more fun for them. Thanks for your comment.

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      Deacon 2 years ago

      Keep these arelcits coming as they've opened many new doors for me.

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