When it comes to flowers, sunflowers are in your face. Why? Because they grow 16 feet tall or taller. Want to know more about sunflowers? Learn some interesting and unique sunflower facts about one of the only flowers to have “flower” in its name.
1. Responsive to Sun
Sunflowers like the sun. It’s even in their name. More than that, though, sunflowers track the sun when they are young and face the east when they are mature plants. Why they do this has to do with the heat. Bees like a warm flower, according to Stacey Harmer.
2. Tallest Flower
The sunflower comes in all different shapes and sizes, but one sunflower has made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records. Hans-Peter of Germany has a sunflower that measures over 30 feet tall. Now that’s a huge sunflower!
3. Made of Tiny Flowers
Sunflowers aren’t just a beautiful flower; they are thousands of beautiful flowers. Sunflower heads are made up of smaller blooms. Typically between 1,000 to 2,000 tiny buds is average, depending on the type, and the petals are also considered separate flowers. All these flowers work together in an amazing way.
4. Scrubbing Pads
Sunflowers can be used all over your home as decorations or even as bird feeders because of their rigid bodies, but did you know they also make an excellent scrubbing pad? All those blooms work great to get the gunk off your favorite pots and pans. After drying your sunflowers, you can use them as the perfect disposable scrubbing pad.
5. Come in Different Colors
Large, bright yellow sunflowers are typically what you think of when you hear the word sunflower. But these aren’t the only variety available. Sunflowers also come in all types of colors, including orange, red, bronze, and white. Depending on the seeds you plant, you might even see two-toned ones as well.
6. Medicinal Purposes
Sunflowers aren’t only beautiful, but they are also considered a medicinal herb. Teas made from sunflowers are great for colds and fevers. From the seeds to the roots, every part of the sunflower can be used for treating different ailments and inflammation.
7. Edible Flower
Riding on the medicinal herb fact, the sunflower is entirely edible. From the petals to the roots, you can eat every part of this flower. The seeds are a favorite snack of many that can be found in stores, and the oil is extracted to create oils for bread and other treats. It’s also great for helping with cholesterol. Whether you cook it or eat it raw, you don’t have to worry about consuming any part of this flower.
8. Americas Native
Sunflowers might be everywhere, but this fabulous flower is native to the Americas. Sunflowers, or Helianthus, come in nearly 100 different varieties from North and South America. Long before Van Gogh and Gaugin painted them, Native Americans used sunflowers for their seeds and oils.
9. Absorb Toxins
Got toxins? Sunflowers to the rescue. There is a reason you see sunflowers planted after a natural disaster like Fukushima. These flowers have the innate ability to take in a lot of toxins. They reduced toxicity in lead-laced soil by 43% in Detroit.
10. Positive Flower
Did you know sunflowers are good for your mental health? Well, they are. In addition to the color yellow bringing hope, sunflowers themselves are known to positively affect people’s moods. They actually make you feel a bit happier just by looking at them. They are leaving a positive impact on the world, one petal at a time.
11. Not All Sunflowers Are Tall
Just like not all sunflowers are yellow, not all sunflowers are tall. Dwarf sunflowers are a petite version of their mammoth sunflower cousins. The tiny sunflowers grow to be between 4-6 inches tall. When you consider that sunflowers are about 16 feet tall, these much smaller versions can sit neatly on a windowsill in your home.
12. Great for Skin
Not only is sunflower good for you, but it’s also good for your skin. The oils created from sunflowers can be used in creams and lotions. The oil has an abundance of linoleic acid, which is good for moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also got a lot of Vitamin E, which helps reduce UV damage.
13. State & National Flower
Some people like the sunflower so much, they made it a state and national flower. In the U.S., Kansas chose the sunflower as their state flower. However, Ukraine took this a step further by making the sunflower their national flower. It’s hard not to love your sunflowers.
14. Outer Space Flower
Sunflowers are indeed out of this world. Why? Because they have been grown in outer space. NASA astronaut Don Pettit has grown sunflowers on the space station. Not surprisingly, they look slightly different from your standard sunflower, teaching this space gardener a lot about plants.
15. Annual Flower
Many people might not realize sunflowers need to be planted every year. This famous annual flower makes such an impression that people think it’s worth putting in the work every year.
Fun Sunflower Facts
Sunflowers are fun and beloved. They find their way into paintings, decorations and even weddings are based around them. However, these flowers are full of fun facts you might not have even realized. Keep your search of all things factual going by looking at some unusual facts about presidents or interesting capital facts.