From tulips to chrysanthemums, our series “The Language of Flowers” explores everything from fresh flower care tips to flower symbolism and meaning.

One look at a sunflower and you’ll understand why it’s been drawn, painted, and written about for years. Standing tall above most other popular flowers, sunflowers bring a smile to everyone’s face.

While we all know sunflowers are beautiful, there’s a lot more to these show-stopping flowers than meets the eye.

Here are some interesting sunflower facts:

  1. Sunflower is the only flower that has the word ‘flower’ in its name.
  2. While these flowers are large and yellow, like the sun, that’s not where they got their name from. They’re called sunflowers because they follow the sun across the sky each day.
  3. While you and I call them sunflowers, their scientific name is ‘Helianthus.’ Literally translated, Helia means “sun” and Anthus means “flower.”
  4. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine and the state flower of Kansas.
  5. Sunflowers are one of the fastest growing flowers. A typical sunflower will grow between 8-12 feet in just 6 months.
  6. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower in the world was 25.5 feet tall.
  7. Because their petals are large, brightly colored, and dry beautifully, sunflower petals are some of the most popular choices for floral craft projects.
  8. Though we mostly use them as decorations, sunflowers were once grown as crops by Native Americans. Rumor has it they were even cultivated years before corn was.
  9. Speaking of Native Americans, they also used sunflower petals to create dyes for fabrics and body paint.
  10. While sunflowers aren’t a popular food source anymore, most people do eat sunflower seeds regularly.
  11. One sunflower can produce as many as 2,000 sunflower seeds
  12. Due to his love for sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh dedicated a whole series of paintings to the beautiful flower.
  13. It’s believed the Aztecs once worshiped sunflowers and considered them the physical incarnation of sun gods.
  14. One sunflower is actually hundreds of sunflowers. One sunflower head is made up of between 1,000 and 2,000 individual flowers that are all joined at the base.
  15. Around the world, more than 60 varieties of sunflowers exist. While the most popular one is yellow with a dark brown center, other varieties are orange, red, and even striped.
  16. Up until recently, sunflowers weren’t exactly considered allergy-friendly. Over the past few years, scientists have experimented with creating a low-pollen sunflower that both reduces the risk of people having an allergic reaction to it and prolongs the life of the flower.

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Tara Carlson graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Public Relations and loves any and all things creative writing - which is why she is thrilled to be working with Petal Talk. When she's not writing, you can probably find her swimming at the beach, playing soccer, and catching up on the latest movies (she's a big fan of award season)!

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