The Amazing Sunflower

By
Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

The Sunflower has a repeating pattern. Every morning, the Sunflower follows the sun from East to West then ends up in the original eastern position to wait for the sun to come up again the next morning. This is an amazing plant because it has a type of motion sensor and the motion is performed by motor cells inside its pulvinus.

Sunflowers have been around since ancient times and they were used for multi-purposes by the Native American Indians. There are many different varieties of sunflowers, just as there are people.  This sunflower blooming at this time of the year in Flower Mound, Texas grows 3 to 8 feet tall. 

The wild sunflowers do not have repeating patterns. They are like a wild child who doesn't have any rules to follow. The wild sunflowers do not follow the sun from east to west, but rather their flowering heads faces many directions when they are mature.

The sunflowers has served it's purpose on earth well as a food source and medicinal purposes too. The seeds of the sunflower were commonly used by American Indians to barter or the plant was used for a snake bite remedy. As a food source, the seeds can be pounded into flour for cakes, breads or mixed with other food products, such as corn, squash and beans. Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds and used for cooking.

Sunflower seeds are used today as a healthy snack and can be used in many different recipes. Here's a nice Summer Salad that can be fun to make and very nutritious to eat.

Spinach & Cranberry Summer Salad

1 10 oz package pre-washed fresh spinach
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 sunflower kernels, roasted

Vinaigrette

1/4 cup rasberry vinegar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1/4 sunflower oil

Blend dressing ingredients. To serve, mix salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing, tossing to coat.

Recipe by National Sunflower Association

Throughout the life cycle, every part of the sunflower can be used for many different purposes, which includes holiday decorations, purple dye for textiles, some body painting and crafts. The dried stalk was used for building materials. The oils are still used for skin and hair products. In the wild, birds and bees depend on them for their survival. Pet stores sell sunflower seeds for people who love to feed the birds.

When you think about it, the sunflower is a phenomenal plant. In Greek, helios means "sun" and anthos means "flower." The next time you see a sunflower, please stop to appreciate the fact that this flower has been paying-it-forward since practically, the beginning of time.

Photos and written content by Patricia Feager, Keller Williams Realty, 2011. Not to be copied or reproduced. Recipe by the National Sunflower Association.  

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Rainer
255,399
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Patricia,

Your photos are beautiful and I can hardly wait to make your salad, it sounds so good and all my favorite ingredients.  I feed our birds the sunflower chips as well as in their shells from the bird shop.  They drop those seeds everywhere and alas sunflowers trying to grow everywhere.  Priceless.

Mary

Jul 21, 2011 10:52 AM #22
Rainmaker
611,096
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Hi Patricia, thank you for the great lesson about sunflowers.  I was not aware of the repeating pattern.  I love to feed sunflowers to the many birds that visit.  The recipe also looks good.  Thank you for sharing.

Jul 21, 2011 11:53 AM #23
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William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Patricia, I love learning new things and this post was great. You covered it amazingly well and the photos just brought it all to life. Loved it!

Jul 21, 2011 03:08 PM #24
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Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy and evening to you Patricia

Patricia,
Sunflowers sure are mighty amazing. I have 18 Sunflowers in one of my gardens. They come up every year, most of them usually get up to 6 foot tall each year.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Jul 21, 2011 04:15 PM #25
Rainmaker
506,030
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Patricia, once my son planted seeds and we went to Italy for 8 weeks, when we came home to our surprise was the biggest and most beautiful sight, several sunflowers in full bloom! And on the edible side, the only bagel I eat is a whole wheat flagel (flattened bagel) with sunflower seeds!

Jul 21, 2011 04:20 PM #26
Rainmaker
2,577,405
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Patricia - You are getting better and better at creating wonderful photos.  And that recipe sound amazing for a hot summer day.  I'm going to give it a try!

Jul 21, 2011 05:35 PM #27
Rainmaker
551,723
The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties
Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville - Lansdale, PA

Hi Patricia,

It is hard not to love a sunflower.  They are so pretty and distinctive and there is something warm and welcoming about them.

Lisa

Jul 22, 2011 02:52 AM #28
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Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor

Patricia,

Greta photos and nice information about how they grow. Thanks. :)

Steve

Jul 22, 2011 11:31 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,501,334
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Well isn't that interesting!  I didn't realize that the wild ones don't follow the sun.  Odd how that happened.  Thanks for all the sunny facts!

Jul 22, 2011 01:44 PM #30
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Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor

Patricia,

Congratulations, this post is now featured in the AR Group "Americana."  :)

Steve

 

Jul 23, 2011 01:35 AM #31
Rainer
118,941
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

That's called phototropism. If I remember my biology, all plants that have photosynthesis have phototropism. Sunflowers are the most noticeable because you can see the result more clearly with the 24-hour cycle. My mom used to rotate her houseplants each month so that they would be full and round rather than leaning towards the light due to phototropism.

By the way, you didn't say anything about roasted sunflower seeds! They were a staple in grade school and middle school.

Jul 24, 2011 10:29 AM #32
Rainmaker
504,688
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

And they are beautiful! We have fields of the wild sunflower right now. Thanks for sharing some interesting facts about them.

Jul 24, 2011 12:42 PM #33
Rainmaker
2,048,182
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

All, I appreciate all the wonderful comments you provided on the topic of The Amazing Sunflower. Thanks for sharing the knowledge you had with me too! When the sun is too hot, we can still appreciate the lessons and gifts we have learned through sight, taste, touch, and nutritional value from the sunflower.

Jul 25, 2011 11:27 PM #34
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Happy Tuesday!

Jul 25, 2011 11:29 PM #35
Rainmaker
2,048,182
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Russell,

Is it really Tuesday? It seems like Tuesday was just yesterday! I guess I'll go get myself a piece of the pie.

Thank you! ;)

Jul 25, 2011 11:33 PM #36
Rainmaker
166,094
John McCarthy
Bean Group Portsmouth NH - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Patricia,

Beautiful photo essay and history of the Sunflower. I'm always amazed at their height. Nature has done a great job engineering that stalk. Hope you Wednesday is going well!

Jul 27, 2011 08:28 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,021,773
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Hi Patricia, I had no idea that the sunflower followed the sun!  That is amazing.  Thanks for all the research you did on these flower.  A few summers ago Doug and I were out for a motorcycle ride on a back country road and came upon fields and fields of sunflowers!  I felt so much like a kid, I just had to stop and say hello to them!   I put sunflowers on our salads almost everynight.  I just love them!

You take care,
Gloria

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Jul 27, 2011 10:24 AM #38
Rainmaker
878,545
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Love sunflowers-as a kid used to love how they were so much bigger than me!

Jul 29, 2011 10:51 AM #39
Ambassador
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. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
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Greetings My Friend...

 

You wrote, "  Sunflower has a repeating pattern...." and that reminded me of the mathematical formula Vogel developed to describe this amazing creature ...

Ggrat post...I'm suggesting...because there is a lesson here for all..

 

Jul 29, 2011 01:02 PM #40
Rainmaker
2,048,182
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John, I was out of pocket for health reasons. Hopefully, if you come back to read this, you'll know I appreciated your comments. I love how God engineered the great and wonderful sun flower! To me, it's an inspiration. It's been engineered so perfectly and as you said, it's size is amazing! The first time I planted sunflowers in Illinois, I planted the seeds in an area that didn't get a lot of sun. The flower did grow to be taller than my one story ranch, and it took an engineer to explain it to me, why that happened. I never forgot it! Plus the stalk was huge! It almost looked like trees instead of stems of a plant.

Jul 30, 2011 01:44 AM #41
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