No flower in the world oozes positivity and cheerfulness quite like sunflowers. In our opinion, they’re nature’s purest expression of a big, cute laugh—the kind that can lighten up an entire room.
But, to much surprise, sunflowers aren’t just some happy-go-lucky flower with all looks and no substance. Au contraire! Sunflower facts are downright weird, wonderful, and super interesting—and we’re going to let you in on all the best ones!
With that said, here are eight facts about sunflowers that will leave you speechless! Well, maybe that’s saying too much…but, either way, we’re sure you’ll enjoy them. And, hey, you’ll be able to say you learned something today—and that’s always a good thing!
Each Sunflower is Actually Thousands of Tiny Flowers
One of the more interesting facts about sunflowers is that they are technically composite flowers, meaning that each individual sunflower houses thousands of teeny tiny flowers, called florets, in their massive blooms.
Sunflowers Love to Sunbathe
Not surprisingly, sunflowers are absolutely crazy about sunshine. It is right there in their name, after all.
Put simply, the main reason they need SO much sun is because it provides them with the necessary nutrients to sustain their super-rapid growth. And trust us, it is super-rapid! In fact, it’s not unheard of for sunflowers to grow 8-12 feet in as little as six months.
Sunflowers Always Stare Down the Sun
To maximize and soak up as much sunlight as possible, sunflowers engage in something called heliotropism, which sounds like some extremely complicated scientific jargon. Don’t worry though; it just means that their flower-heads continually face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day.
Sunflowers Can Grow to Unimaginable Heights
Given the right conditions, it’s not unheard of for sunflowers to get extremely large and unwieldy. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower ever was grown in Germany in 2014 and, amazingly, surpassed 30 feet!
Sunflowers Were Extremely Useful Throughout History
Back in the day of early civilization, sunflowers were often used in foods, medicines, dyes, and oils.
Thanks to its multitude of uses, indigenous North American tribes began cultivating the cheery and useful flowers as far back as 3000 BC. Tribes often used sunflowers to treat chest pain, kidney issues, and other conditions.
In the 1500s, Europe finally got a taste of these sun-shaped plants when they were brought back from the New World by Spanish conquistadors. Needless to say, they immediately fell in love with them!
Sunflowers Can Still be Used Today as DIY Scrubbers and Bird Feeders
It’s been over five centuries since humans started utilizing sunflowers. And guess what! They still haven’t worn out their welcome or usefulness—we’re betting they never will!
Today, you can still use sunflowers for lots of things, but our two favorites are as disposable homemade scrubbing pads or as bird feeders for your garden. Best of all, they’re super easy to make!
Sunflower Seeds are Delicious
It takes a while to get the hang of eating sunflower seeds out of the shell, but they’re a tasty little snack. They can even be used to make an alternative to peanut butter for folks with allergies. Shelled sunflower seeds can be added to salad, used in a trail mix, or munched on by the handful. They’re yummy and nutritious. It’s no wonder birds love them so much! (Do keep in mind, though, that our own sunflower Bouqs are not food grade so we don’t recommend snacking on them.)
Sunflowers Can Decontaminate Soil
Sunflowers have the awesome superpower of being able to naturally decontaminate soil that’s been wrecked by dangerous toxins. Among the hazardous materials they can remove from soil are lead, arsenic, and uranium.
The latter example explains why sunflowers were one of the first defenses against the radioactive fallout at Fukushima and Chernobyl. We told you sunflowers have substance, right?
Sunflowers Carry a Wealth of Symbolism
As you probably guessed, sunflowers symbolize cheerfulness, happiness, and positivity. On top of those more obvious symbols though, sunflowers have also carried lots of other meanings across cultures.
In Ancient Greece, sunflowers represented adoration and loyalty. The Chinese, on the other hand, associated the flower with a long and prosperous life. As for Native Americans, they saw sunflowers as an omen for a fruitful and bountiful harvest.
Shop Sunflowers at Bouqs
As you can see, sunflowers are no slouch in the fascinating department. And, if we’re being totally honest, sunflower facts are some of the most compelling in the flower world. So if you’re looking for a flower to brighten up your home or raise a loved one’s spirits, you could do a lot worse than a handmade Bouq of sunflowers.
Like we said earlier, they’re nature’s number one expression of joyfulness and, for that reason alone, we guarantee that anyone who sees them won’t be able to hold back a smile! We sure can’t!Shop All