|Sunflower photo from Creative Commons user|
Sunflowers have a rich history and interesting history and a variety of practical uses in everyday life. But their history stems back much farther. They were used as a symbol of worship by the Aztecs; they were a crucial ingredient in 18th century Russia; and they have been brought back and forth between the "Old World" and "New World" so many times throughout their history.
Let's take a journey through some interesting facts and information about this beloved plant (beloved by everyone but farmers, that is!)
-Sunflowers are thought to have been first cultivated in what we now know as Mexico. But even prior to that, they were likely used by primitive peoples as a readily available source of fat.
-They were eventually brought back to Europe, and in the 18th century, became wildly popular in Russia, as it was a way to skirt around the Orthodox Church's insistence on not consuming oil during Lent (sunflowers were not "on the list" as they were exotic and foreign at the time.) Here's a great link if you're interested about the fascinating history of the sunflower.
-Oil from Sunflowers has been extracted for hundreds of years, and is a trendy alternative in modern Western society as a lower cholesterol alternative to other cooking oils like Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil.
-The middle portion of the sunflower always grows in the same spiral pattern, and there is even a mathematical formula to express the specific formation of the growth.
- Sunflowers are a part of the Guerrilla Gardening movement, where people plant flowers in public spaces,
|Sunshine Sunflower bouquet.|
-Other historical and modern uses for sunflowers include: animal feed, eating the seeds as a snack food, removing toxicity from compromised soil, the making of paper.
-The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas, and the national flower of Ukraine.
We have a variety of Sunflower bouquets available in our store online if you're interested in sending some to a loved one.
If you love these bright and cheerful plants, here's a great way to learn even more about sunflowers. Enjoy!