The quintessential fall flower is, of course, the sunflower. While it technically starts to bloom in summer, the sunflower is nevertheless a staple of households during the autumn months. And for good reason. Standing tall and proud, there are many interesting facts about the sunflower. Read on to learn more!
Not all of them follow the sun
It’s common knowledge that sunflowers follow the path of the sun, but not everyone knows that only certain sunflowers actually do this. Young sunflowers that haven’t reached their maturity will track the sun (a phenomenon known as heliotropism) due to circadian rhythms. Sunflowers that have reached their maturity, however, will simply face east because they can better attract pollinators and stay warm.
Sunflowers are made up of many smaller flowers
Sunflowers are known for their size, but instead of being one big flower, they’re actually a collection of many smaller flowers. The head of the sunflower has about 1000 to 2000 tiny flowers arranged in a pattern that leads to reproduction. There are the ray florets—what looks like petals but are actually flowers—and disc florets—small flowers clustered inside the ray florets.
They can self-pollinate
Those tiny flowers on the head of a sunflower have a purpose—they can actually self-pollinate. While the ray florets cannot reproduce on their own (indeed, they lack any sex organs at all), the disc florets have both male and female sex organs. This allows the flower to self-pollinate, producing an offspring that is an exact match to the original.
They’re native to North America
The sunflower plant is native to North America, specifically the United States and Mexico. I fact, humans have been cultivating sunflowers since 3000 BCE. Some Native American tribes used sunflower seeds as flour for cake or bread, while others used them as medicinal remedies for chest pain or snakebites.
Sunflowers are a favorite flower for many, it’s why so many of us fill our homes with them during the summer and fall months. So, if you’re looking to decorate your home with sunflowers, check out the sunflower sensation bouquet brought to you by Mills Florist today!