The sunflower is an annual plant grown from seeds. There are many varieties of sunflower and over the years new hybrids have appeared, from mini to standard blooms.
The sunflower was first domesticated by the American Indians and was used in many ways. The seeds were used to make oil and also dried and pounded to make flour. The seeds can also be eaten and today they are to be found in health stores and supermarkets.
Sunflower seeds were taken to Europe by the Spanish explorers in the 15th century. They were also taken to Russia and planted. It was only in the 19th century that sunflowers began to be mass produced in the USA.
After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the nuclear disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima, fields and fields of sunflowers were planted to absorb the toxic metals and radiation from the soil. It is suggested in research done that sunflowers are good for the environment and they are quite eye catching to look at.
Until next week, Happy Gardening.