Monday, February 8, 2016

Sunflowers

No flower can lift someone’s spirits quite like sunflowers. They are bright and cheery, and as warm and inviting as the sweet summer sun. With brilliant yellow petals, also known as “rays,” sunflowers have an unmistakable sun-like appearance that has made them a crowd favorite, especially in the summer months. 





 Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. These flowers are unique in that they have the ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy—attributes which mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light.

Sunflowers are known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone’s (or your) day.



It is a misconception that flowering sunflower heads track the Sun across the sky during the day. Young flower buds do display movement similar to this behavior through a process called heliotropism. But a mature flower usually points in a fixed easterly direction.





 The History of Sunflowers

Sunflowers originated in the Americas in 1,000 B.C., and were then cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries. With the European exploration of the New World, the flower’s popularity spread, as the rest of the world began to appreciate its beauty and sustenance.

Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor—those of the Impressionist era were especially fixated on the flower. The use of sunflower images as religious symbols has also been documented in some native societies.

Wild sunflowers are often photographed with their tall stalks and bright petals stretched towards the sun. This interesting behavior, known as phototropism, inspired a motif that has appeared in many ancient works.



❀ Simply beautiful Sunflower ❀
Today, sunflowers remain a highly recognized flower, admired for its sunny charm and delightful disposition. These beauties are also still sourced for their seeds, as well as oils used for cooking and skin emollients. For a flower that reflects so many of the sun’s positive characteristics, it isn’t surprising that people enjoy basking in the sunflower’s warming glow so much.


The scientific name of sunflowers is Helianthus, Helia for sun and Anthus for flower.