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Sunflowers Vincent van Gogh painted his sunflower pictures in 1888. There are many other paintings of sunflowers they are such a beautiful flower, big and bright. Sunflowers are very easy to grow. They are perfect for a first flower for a child to grow.
So do you know what a sunflower is? A sunflower, Latin name Helianthus annuus belonging to the daisy family. It is an annual a yellow flower hence the name sun. The centre has often a contrasting brown colour this centre develops into seeds. The basic sunflower is a simple single flower but there are also double flowers. The basic one is just one flower on a stalk but there are sunflowers where there is more than one flower per stalk. . A sunflower is easy to grow from seed, seeds are available from most places that sell seeds, garden centres, Wilkinson’s, even some supermarkets they vary in price from about 80p upwards to £2.00p
Sunflower seeds should be sown late spring about 2 inches deep in the soil, They need deep fairly rich soil and a sunny position. There Are many competitions held for the tallest sunflower as with a lot of love and attention they can grow up to about 12 foot tall, wow and each individual flower can be 15 to 30 cm wide. There are small dwarf sunflowers also available but somehow they do not seem to hold as much magic A sun flower always turns her face towards the sun, Greek myths would have it that Clytie the sea nymph loved Apollo who deserted her, so she turned herself into a sunflower or heleotrope that always turns to face the sun.
Slugs love the young sunflower seedlings as do pigeons so if you want to avoid this start your seed of in a plant pot and then plant out when it is a few inches tall. The sunflower flowers in the summer and the seeds will be right for harvesting September October time. The sunflower produces lots of nectar so bees love them, as do lacewings and flies. In the autumn birds love their seeds I saw greenfinches taking the seeds from ours once. If you collect the seed heads and dry them inside they make excellent winter food for the birds.
Sunflowers are grown as a crop in some countries on our way down south through France we see fields and fields of sunflowers, Oil is obtained from sunflower seeds and used in margarines, cooking oils and added to many foodstuffs. The oil is used in soaps.
Sunflower seeds can be eaten raw added to salads or breakfast cereals. They can be cooked used in bread biscuits or cakes. Sunflower seeds can be used whole. They are a good source of prosperous and potassium contains protein iron and calcium. Sunflower seeds are healthy so be like the birds eat some for a snack.
Apparently in 2003, I read in a report in the guardian that people were using cheap sunflower oil mixed with diesel to run their diesel cars apparently it worked ok. Thanks for reading hope your sunflowers are doing well.