Sunflowers are admired in floral arrangements for their warm and inviting beauty and are known to symbolize loyalty, adoration, and longevity. They are used in the floral industry to express feelings of happiness and energy, but the wondrous sunflower is so much more than just a pretty flower.
While admired for their simplistic beauty, sunflowers are also some of the world’s most versatile agricultural crops. In addition to the large daisy-like petals that add excitement and intrigue to fresh-cut floral arrangements, they are an excellent source of food and edible oil. Along with its nutritional seeds, sunflowers are commonly used for industrial applications such as biofuel and livestock feed.
Here are some fun facts that will make you take a second look the next time you see a sunflower:
• Sunflowers are primarily native to North America and were a common crop among Native Americans who not only used the ground seeds for food but also the flower for textile dyes and the stalks for kindling.
• Sunflowers are rugged flowers that are tolerant of both high and low temperatures making them easy to grow.
• Sunflowers can grow up to 16 feet in height and some varieties can produce over 2,000 seeds per flower.
• Among their many industrial applications, sunflowers are used to extract toxins from contaminated soil and were used to aid in the cleanup from the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters.
• There are over 70 different varieties of sunflowers in a wide range of sizes with petal colors ranging from vibrant yellow to deep oranges and browns.
• Sunflowers are among the fastest growing plants and can reach maturity and heights of 8 to 12 feet in 90-100 days.
• Sunflowers are often associated with renowned Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh who depicted the flowers in two series of still life paintings. One of those paintings was purchased for $53.9 million in 1987.
Be sure to take a closer look the next time you see one of these magnificently versatile flowers and consider including some of these cheerful favorites the next time you send flowers. Click here to check out Mancuso’s designs featuring the sensational sunflower.