Sunrise Today...

Sunflower in my garden

Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, is a large annual forb of the genus Helianthus grown as a crop for its edible oil and edible fruits. This sunflower species is also used as wild bird food, as livestock forage, in some industrial applications, and as an ornamental in domestic gardens.Wikipedia

Sunflowers are such a happy flower. When they grow to a large size as this one did, there is an awe and majesty about it as it becomes the major garden attraction. I would walk out a dozen times a day just to admire its beauty, and I recorded its beauty and arrogance with a multitude of photos and videos. I would drag passer-bys to come and admire the flower and it became the focus of my life.

Then one fine day, when the sunflower was at its peak beauty, I had a rival for its attention. First one cockatoo came, then half a dozen and then a whole horde. Their attention was not just to admire. It was far more sinister. Cockatoos love sunflower seeds and like me, they were simply checking and waiting for the seeds to ripen.

The cockatoo finds the Sunflower

I decorated the sunflowers with brightly shining, cd’s rotating and flashing in the sunlight. I tried shouting and waving my hands each time they came to the garden. It was no use, they loved the sunflower as much as I did. Sadly, I cut off the most beautiful flower and took it inside where it sat on the fridge in a solid blue crystal vase and shed pollen everywhere as it slowly dried. Next year I will plant the seeds and welcome her back, but next year I shall edge the far end of the property with sunflowers just for the cockatoos.

The center of the sunflower, where the seeds develop, is made up of tiny blossoms that bees absolutely love. Speaking of the inside of a sunflower, it is actually made from smaller flowers; the outer petals are known as ray florets. The bees loved the sunflowers, and pollen laden they would happily buzz around the flowers.

Facts About Sunflower

  • Sunflower is the national flower of Russia and the state flower of Kansas, USA.
  • Sunflower is notable for turning to face the Sun, a behavior known as heliotropism.
  • Sunflowers were cultivated by Native Americans well over 1000 years ago.
  • Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. The large petals around the edge of a sunflower head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seed.
  • Sunflower seeds have lots of calcium and 11 other important minerals. They do have 50% fat, but it is mostly polyunsaturated linoleic acid.
  • Wild Sunflower is highly branched with small heads and small seeds, in contrast to the single-stem and large seed head of domesticated sunflower. Sunflower perfumes are also popular.
  • According to the 1996 Guiness Book of Records, the tallest Sunflower ever grown measured 25 feet 5 and 1/2 inches. According to the 1996 Guiness Book of Records, the smallest sunflower ever grown to maturity measured 2 and 1/5 inches. According to the 1996 Guiness 
    https://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/mostpopularflowers/morepopularflowers/sunflower
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