Flower of the month: Sunflower!

Sunflower originates from the Americas and it got its name for its ability to follow the sun during the day. When they are fully grown, mature flower heads do not move and no longer follow the sun. It is an annual plant and has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers.

Sunflower is botanically related to chrysanthemum, gerbera, calendula and dahlia flowers; it has a bright yellow flower head containing individual flowers which mature into several hundreds of seeds.

Sunflower can grow to heights between 1.5 and 3.5 m and there were reports that a 12 m single-head sunflower plant was grown in Padua in 1567.

Sunflower seeds and oil were brought to Europe in the 16th century where they become cooking ingredients, while leaves were used as cattle feed and stems were used in paper production. Sunflower roots were used in an infusion by the Native American Indians to treat snake bites; they also used sunflower oil as a hair conditioner.

Sunflower oil is not just a cooking ingredient it treats many skin conditions, sinusitis, hemorrhoids and leg ulcers. Sunflower and sunflower leaves were used in traditional Russian remedies to treat several conditions such as bronchitis and rheumatism.

The Aztec and the Inca cultures believed that the sunflower represented the sun and therefore worshiped the sunflower accordingly.

The sunflower is often used as a symbol of green ideology and it is also the symbol of the Vegan Society. It was chosen as the symbol of the Spiritualist Church because it turns toward the sun as “Spiritualism turns toward the light of truth”.

Sunflower can be used in wedding bouquets; the bright color of this flower is very eye-catching. As radiant as the sun, the sunflower can be used whether as a single flower centered in the bridal bouquet or as a very fresh and lively centerpiece comprising of several sunflowers.

If your wedding’s drawing near, try opting for sunflowers for your decorations. They are amazing and great for a change!

 

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