16 Sunflower Facts That Are So Sweet - ProFlowers Blog (2023)

16 Sunflower Facts That Are So Sweet - ProFlowers Blog (1)

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Picture a common sunflower in your mind — what do you see?

Many people may describe sunflowers as tall, yellow and bright, but this classicsunflowerimagery simply doesn’t do the plant justice. Sunflowers are dynamic because they grow in various shapes, sizes and colors.

Use the following 16 sunflower facts to inspire the way you view sunflowers. Learn about the sunflower plant itself and some health benefits below. Let’s start with the basics: colors.

1. Not All Sunflowers Are Yellow

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A universal fact most people know is sunflowers are yellow. However, a sunflower’s pigment doesn’t stop there. Sunflowers can even be red and purple!

Yellow Sunflowers

Some examples of yellow sunflowers include American Giant, Zohar and Elegance. These sunflower types are vibrant and sure to make you smile. The American Giant sunflower can grow up to 14 feet tall, so “giant” may be an understatement. This species is one of the tallest sunflowers and their faces can reach 12 inches wide.

Red Sunflowers

As the nursery rhyme taught us, roses are red. In addition to roses, many types of flowers are red, including some sunflowers.Red sunflowerscome in different varieties. Some of them have similar daisy-like heads which are often born of the common yellow sunflowers. Additionally, red sunflowers are an excellent way to add a pop of color in a bouquet.

Purple Sunflowers

A common “purple sunflower” is the Chianti Hybrid. A Chianti Hybrid’s petals have deep, dark reds which some classify as purple. This sunflower plant can grow to five feet and has no pollen, making it good for cutting. These sunflowers can help balance color inmixed bouquets.

2. Vincent Van Gogh Wasn’t the Only Sunflower Painter

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Whether you’ve taken an art class or not, odds are you’re familiar with name Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh is remembered for his sunflower paintings and changing the way people viewed a flower’s beauty. Some artists who were influenced by him include Diego Rivera, Alfred Gockel and Paul Gauguin.

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera incorporated sunflowers in a handful of his paintings. One example is “Muchacha Con Girasoles.” This painting portrays a girl organizing a vase with sunflowers. Both Van Gogh and Diego Rivera commonly portrayed peasant life and flower imagery in their pieces.

Alfred Gockel

Alfred Gockel’s style includes the use of primary colors with deep accents. One of Gockel’s paintings is titled “Giant Sunflower.” By using primary colors, Gockel made his sunflower come alive. Many people find this work unique.

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Fiesta Bouquet

$60 - $95

Shipped in a Gift Box

The Fiesta Bouquet is composed of a lively mix, fit to celebrate any and every moment. With a combination of vibrant flowers, this florist–designed arrangement brings a pop of color and a burst of excitement as soon as it arrives.

Please Note: The bouquet pictured reflects our original design for this product. While we always try to follow the color palette, we may replace stems to deliver the freshest bouquet possible, and we may sometimes need to use a different vase.

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Light of My Life Bouquet

$50 - $80

Shipped in a Gift Box

The Light of My Life Bouquet blossoms with brilliant color and a sweet sophistication to create the perfect impression! Pink Lilies make the eyes dance across the unique design of this flower bouquet, surrounded by the blushing colors of orange roses, lavender cushion poms, hot pink carnations, and lush greens. Presented in a clear glass vase, this fresh flower arrangement has been created just for you to help you send your sweetest thank you, happy anniversary, or thinking of you wishes.

Please Note: The bouquet pictured reflects our original design for this product. While we always try to follow the color palette, we may replace stems to deliver the freshest bouquet possible, and we may sometimes need to use a different vase.

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Beyond Blue Bouquet

$55 - $92

Shipped in a Gift Box

There is something about the shade of blue that brings a sense of calmness and serenity. Our Beyond Blue bouquet is designed with billowing white blooms and pops of bold florals to deliver just the right sentiment for any reason.

Please Note: The bouquet pictured reflects our original design for this product. While we always try to follow the color palette, we may replace stems to deliver the freshest bouquet possible, and we may sometimes need to use a different vase.

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gaugin introduced inception with his art “Vincent van Gogh Painting Sunflowers.” The piece itself is fictional, since Gaugin wasn’t there when van Gogh was painting his famous sunflower painting. Gaugin enjoyed working from his imagination to inspire this painting.

3. Sunflowers Are Connected to Apollo

Sunflowers have numerousmeanings and symbols. Some date back to Greek mythology with the story of Clytie and Apollo, god of the sun. Apollo, already in love with Clytie, one day was struck by the beauty of a king’s princess named Leucothoe. Lecucothe’s father did not allow her to see Apollo, but this didn’t stop Apollo from seeing her.

One night Clytie discovered Apollo and Leucothoe together and told Lecuothe’s father out of jealousy. As a result, Leucothoe was buried alive at her father’s order. Apollo, out of grief, turned Clytie into a sunflower to avoid having to look at her again. Talk about drama!

4. Sunflowers Can Range in Height

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Sunflowers are regularly classified into two categories: tall and dwarf. Despite popular belief that sunflower plants are giants, some don’t get taller than two feet.

Tall Sunflowers

Tall sunflowers are generally yellow and durable. Most of these sunflowers reach 12 to 16 feet tall and even higher in special circumstances. Types of tall sunflowers include Skyscraper, Sunforest Mix and Russian Mammoth. Most of these sunflowers are enjoyed by birds for their height and abundance of seeds. This makes tall sunflowers attractive for people who enjoy bird watching.

Dwarf Sunflowers

Dwarf sunflowers commonly grow in clusters and immerse themselves in small gardens and pots. These sunflowers are classified as dwarfs because they tend to not grow taller than 3 feet. Dwarf sunflower types include Little Becka, Suntastic Yellow and Pacino.

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A commonality between dwarf and tall sunflowers is they both grow best in full sunlight.

5. Young Sunflowers Track the Sun

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A fun sunflower fact is young sunflowers track the sun, also referred to as heliotropism. In a study byScienceMag, scientists reveal sunflowers have circadian rhythms, which promote this behavior. A young sunflower’s face follows the sun from sunrise to sunset every day and repeats the cycle until maturity.

6. Mature Sunflowers Face East

As sunflowers reach maturity, their internal clocks start slowing down until they finish the heliotropism behavior completely. Don’t worry, this process does not harm sunflowers. AScienceMag studyreveals mature sunflowers face East for a couple different reasons:

  • Sunflowers can attract up to five times more pollinators because they warm up faster than westward facing plants.

  • Sunflowers are more productively warmed when Eastward facing.

7. Sunflower Oil Has an Anti-Inflammatory Effect

The sunflower plant offers additional benefits besides beauty. Sunflower oil is suggested to possess anti-inflammatory properties. It contains linoleic acid which can convert to arachidonic acid. Both are fatty acids and can help reduce water loss and repair the skin barrier.

8. There Are Two Types of Sunflower Seed Production

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Sunflower facts can be sporty too! They’re a popular snack among baseball fans. Next time you take your family out to a ball game, thank sunflowers for your salty, crunchy snack. There are two common types of sunflower seed: oilseed and non-oilseed.


Oilseed sunflower production is the most commonly farmed sunflower. These seeds hulls’ are encased by solid black shells. Black oilseeds are a common type of bird feed because they have thin shells and a high fat content. These are typically produced for oil extraction purposes; therefore, it is unlikely you’ll find black oilseeds packaged for human consumption.


Non-oilseed is the production of sunflower seeds for human consumption. These seeds are protected by striped hulls. The non-oilseeds grow on the flower head part of the sunflower plant.Healthlinenotes sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E and selenium which help prevent chronic disease.

9. Sunflower Oils Can Reduce Cholesterol Levels

AnAmerican Heart Associationstudy found consuming more polyunsaturated fats can reduce cholesterol levels. Sunflower oil, a food containing high polyunsaturated fat, is a great alternative to butter and has numerous health benefits. Polyunsaturated fats additionally supply the body with long chain fatty acids which are essential fats for the human body.

10. Sunflowers Are Native to the United States

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The sunflower plant is native to North America and is now harvested around the world. A University of Missouri journal recognizes North Dakota as the leading U.S. state for sunflower production. There are various factors to consider for a sunflower to thrive, including temperature, sunlight, soil and water.

Sunflower Habitat

A healthy sunflower plant prefers at least six hours of direct sunlight daily with soil pH levels ranging from 6 to 7.5. Ourultimate sunflower resource guidestates low to high 70 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal air temperatures for sunflower growth. Lastly, adult sunflowers can withstand intense heat because they are drought-tolerant.

11. Sunflowers Can Be Processed Into Sunbutter

Many know peanut butter, some know almond butter, but have you heard of sunflower seed butter? If you have a nut allergy, sunflower seed butter may be a staple in your diet. An interesting fact about sunflower seed butter is that it has significantly less saturated fat than peanut butter, according to theUSDA.

In addition, sunflower seed butter has more minerals than both peanut and almond butters. Having a nut allergy has some benefits.

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12. There Are Thousands of Tiny Flowers That Create a Sunflower’s Head

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We’ve mentioned the head of a sunflower before, but what does that actually mean? The head of the sunflower is a combination of a thousand tiny flowers. In fact, each petal on the circumference of a sunflower is a flower itself. These long, colorful petals are known as “ray florets.”

13. The Tallest Sunflower is Over 30 Feet

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Yes, you read that right. Over 30 feet tall! Hans-Peter Schiffer in Karst, Germany, is responsible for growing this 30 foot, one inch sunflower plant. This was confirmed byGuinness World Recordson August, 28 2014. Schiffer also held this same title in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

14. Sunflowers Started as a Food Source

It is known that Natives Americans developed the sunflower plant as a food source. According to aUniversity of Arizonareport, sunflower cultivation is thought have to begun over 8,000 years ago. Some even suggest sunflower cultivation began before corn and beans.

Growing sunflowers has evolved beyond food since then. Today, many people use sunflowers as inspiration for fashion, art and home decor.

15. Sunflowers Can Self Pollinate

A common way for sunflowers to pollinate is by attracting bees that transfer self-created pollen to the stigma. In the event the stigma receives no pollen, a sunflower plant can self pollinate toreproduce. The stigma can twist around to reach its own pollen.

Additional fun sunflower fact: seeds produced from self-pollination will grow to be identical to the original sunflower plant.

16. Sunflowers Can Be Cuddly

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There’s a type of sunflower that you may mistake for a stuffed animal due to its name. It’s called the Teddy Bear Sunflower.

Teddy Bear Sunflowers

Teddy Bear sunflowers are bushy and spherical. This type of sunflower produces double blooms, which gives them a full and fluffy head like a stuffed bear. Their unusual anatomy led to this plant receiving the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2015. Moreover, some people use Teddy Bear sunflowers in food as salad garnish or for cake decoration.

These 16 sweet sunflower facts prove sunflowers go beyond being yellow and tall. Whether it’s a nutritional benefit, record-breaking height or circadian rhythms, sunflowers are dynamic plants.

Let us ask once more: When you imagine a sunflower, what do you see?

Now that you’ve pictured your perfect sunflower it might be time to add them to your home. Browse throughour sunflower bouquetsto find the perfect arrangement for your kitchen, dining room or bedroom.

Sources:HGTV|Burpee|Van Gogh Gallery|Art.com|Van Gogh Museum| FTD (1,2) |HeritageHistory|DermatologyTimes|The Cornell Lab of Ornithology|Healthline|University of Missouri Extension| SFGate (1,2) |Green and Vibrant

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What is so special about a sunflower? ›

Sunflowers symbolise loyalty, adoration thanks to the myth of Clytie and Apollo. And, because of their association with the sun, sunflowers are well-known for being a happy flower and the perfect bloom for a summer flower delivery to brighten someone's mood!

What is the message of sunflower? ›

Sunflowers symbolize unwavering faith and unconditional love. It's perfect to send to your loved one if you want to express exactly how much you adore him or her. Sunflowers, especially the ones grown in farms, are often photographed stretching their tall stalks and vibrant petals towards the sun.

Does sunflower make you happy? ›

Sunflowers represent adoration, loyalty and longevity. Known as “happy” flowers, sunflowers are the perfect gift to bring joy to someone's day or as a treat for yourself.

Did you know fact about sunflowers? ›

  • Fun Facts About Sunflowers.
  • Each sunflower is actually thousands of teeny flowers.
  • Each sunflower can contain as many as 1,000 to 2,000 seeds. ...
  • Sunflowers are native to North America. ...
  • There are about 70 species of sunflowers. ...
  • The tallest sunflower on record was over 30 feet tall. ...
  • Sunflowers track the sun.
26 Mar 2020

What do sunflowers do at night? ›

At night, in its absence, the sunflowers face east again, anticipating the sun's return. They do this until they get old, when they stop moving. Then, always facing east, the old flowers await visits from insects that will spread their pollen and make new sunflowers.

What do you call a person who loves sunflowers? ›

Noun. anthophile (plural anthophiles)

Why is it called sunflower? ›

The common name, “sunflower”, typically refers to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus, or the common sunflower, whose round flower heads in combination with the ligules look like the glowing sun. In Greek, helios means sun and anthos means flower, thus the name Sunflower.

Why sunflower is your favorite? ›

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.

Is the sunflower a symbol of peace? ›

The encyclopedia calls the flower “an unofficial national symbol.” The sunflower is also a symbol of peace. In June 1996, defense ministers from Ukraine, Russia, and the United States met at a missile base in southern Ukraine.

Why do sunflowers love the Sun story? ›

The stems of young sunflowers contain cells that make them turn towards the Sun's light. This property is called heliotropism. This is why sunflowers follow the Sun's journey across the sky.

What flower symbolizes happiness? ›

Yellow flowers in general

That's why most yellow flowers symbolise happiness in some way. In addition to sunflowers, there are yellow lilies, yellow tulips, yellow daisies and yellow chrysanthemums—all of which are perfect choices if you want to send happiness to someone in your life.

Do sunflowers have feelings? ›

Plants don't have central nervous systems

Unlike animals and humans, plants do not have brains or central nervous systems. And as far as we can tell, no reputable study has proven that plants have emotions (even if they can feel and sense things).

What emotion is a sunflower? ›

Sunflowers: Symbols of happiness.

What is a sunflower person? ›

October 3, 2022 February 25, 2022 by Kristen M. Stanton. Sunflower meanings include happiness, optimism, honesty, longevity, peace, admiration, and devotion. The sunflower possibly surpasses all others in terms of its universal power to bring joy to people.

How long does a sunflower live? ›

Quick Guide
Symbolism:Adoration, Longevity
Native Origin:North America
Blooming Season:Summer, Fall
Average Life:1 to 2 Weeks

Are all sunflowers edible? ›

All varieties of sunflowers are edible, but larger, grey and white striped seeds are meatier and tastier than the smaller dark oilseed varieties.

What does a sunflower smell like? ›

Some people compare the scent of sunflowers to wood. But it's more like when you step out in the garden full of fresh trees, leaves, and an earthy atmosphere. You can smell a sweet and vibrant combination in your aromatic space.

Do sunflowers fall asleep? ›

This is as known as Heliotropism misconception. When the sunflower is matured, then it doesn't have to grow, then obviously it will not grow, hence it will not turn, move or produce sunlight to fight zombie. It will just become a regular flower, stand still, and do nothing at day, or at night.

What are sunflowers sensitive to? ›

The UV-B radiation increased the MDA content independently of nitrogen level. Results indicate that the effects of UV-B radiation on sunflower plants are dependent of nitrogen supply with high nitrogen making their physiological processes more sensitive to UV-B radiation.

Do sunflowers attract? ›

So, what animals and bugs are attracted to Sunflowers? A numerous amount. Sunflower bugs and beetles, Cutworms, ladybugs, spiders, bees, snails, butterflies, moths, aphids, seed Weevils, squirrels, rabbits, birds, deer, mice, rats, hedgehogs, chipmunks, Raccoons and the list goes on.

Are sunflowers toxic to dogs? ›

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists sunflowers as a non-toxic plant, meaning that your dog can eat an entire sunflower and not experience any health risks due to toxicity.

How long do sunflowers last? ›

Care Tips: With proper care, sunflowers should last from six to twelve days. To maximize the vase life, look for flowers that are just starting to fully open. Choose strong, straight stems with perky flowers that look at you.

Are pink sunflowers real? ›

Sunflower colors range from cream to gold, yellow, orange, red, mahogany and chocolate brown. There are even pink sunflowers, but if you see blue sunflower seeds for sale, be wary. There's a deep, dark red hybrid that some gardeners consider purple, but there aren't any blue sunflowers in nature.

Are sunflowers male or female? ›

They are "perfect" flowers, meaning that they have both male and female producing parts. To prevent inbreeding, the pollen producing structure (the anther) forms a tube around the style of the pistil.

Can sunflowers hurt cats? ›

Sunflowers are not toxic to cats. However, as with any plant, if your cat ingests too much, they run the risk of an upset stomach.

Is sunflower toxic to cats? ›

Are Sunflowers Poisonous to Cats? These yellow-petaled flowers with a brown interior disc are cheerful and yield edible seeds. Sunflowers are also generally considered non-toxic for cats, but veterinarians say they may cause minor stomach upset or vomiting if ingested.

Are sunflowers toxic to humans? ›

Answer: Stick to the seeds when it comes to eating sunflowers. The flowers and leaf and stem hairs contain a mixed bag of chemicals called sesquiterpene lactones that commonly cause bad reactions in humans–both on the skin or if ingested.

How long can a sunflower live without water? ›

If you are growing sunflowers from seed when they are germinating they can't go much longer than a couple of days without water. Once sunflowers mature and are above around 2 feet (60cm) in height, they can get by with water just once a week depending upon conditions.

How fast do sunflowers grow? ›

There are various varieties of sunflowers, and each one will grow at a different rate. On average, though, it takes between 80 and 120 days for a plant to mature and develop seeds.

How many times will a sunflower bloom? ›

When do sunflowers bloom? Annual sunflowers bloom during summer and into autumn. Sow new plants every few weeks and you'll enjoy non-stop flowers until the first frost. Perennial sunflowers bloom for a period of 8-12 weeks with some beginning as early as July and others finishing as late as October.

Do black sunflowers exist? ›

Black oil sunflowers can reach up to ten feet, meaning some are more than three times larger than other varieties. Black oil sunflowers produce one flower, meaning they are not branching. They only produce one, beautiful flower per stalk.

Are midnight blue sunflowers real? ›

One questionable example found was “Midnight Oil Blue.” No reputable seed company carries a sunflower of this name.

Do white sunflowers exist? ›

Pure white sunflowers are truly stunning. The creators see them being used in wedding and spring bouquets. Where sunflowers traditionally have been used for late summer and fall displays, these white varieties give them more versatility.

Can you eat sunflowers? ›

However, sunflowers can do more than just add aesthetic appeal; in fact, they are an entirely edible plant. From root to leaf, sprout to stalk, you can use your sunflowers to make everything from salads to sunflower tea.

Do sunflowers have organs? ›

They don't have the same enlarged petal as the ray flowers, but they do possess functioning reproductive organs that allow each disk flower to produce a single seed when fertilized. Like most flowering plants, sunflower disk flowers have both male and female reproductive organs, making them bisexual flowers.

Are all sunflowers edible? ›

All varieties of sunflowers are edible, but larger, grey and white striped seeds are meatier and tastier than the smaller dark oilseed varieties.


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