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SunflowersWith their sunny yellow petals and cheerful demeanour, a sunflower embodies all that is summer and makes the perfect uplifting gift.
There's much to be admired about this popular garden flower, not least the fact that it's so clever it turns to face the sun each morning in a process called Heliotropism and has been known to grow up to 20ft tall.The sunflower is most commonly found in a bright yellow colour, but with over 70 different varieties available, they range from pale yellow to rustic oranges and deep reds.
The sunflower originates in North America and was first cultivated in 3,500BC by the American-Indian tribes, who would use it in variety of different ways from creating flour for cakes and bread to making dyes and tribal body paintings.
In the late 16th century, Spanish explorers brought the sunflower to Europe where it was widely cultivated for its oil and its striking beauty made it a popular flower for decoration in homes and gardens, which it still is today.
Botanical Name: Helianthus.
Expert tips, from expert florists.
Did you know?
SunflowersBig, bold sunflowers make an informal and very eye-catching display – they’re also a wonderful focal point for some of our most impressive bouquets and arrangements. It’s easy to see why the sunflower inspired the artist, Vincent Van Gogh, with its dark centre and halo of golden yellow petals. Interestingly the sunflower is also one of Nature’s illusions as what looks like one large flower is actually made up of lots of tiny blooms.
To keep the sunflowers in your bouquet looking their best for as long as possible, cut off at least 2cm from each stem at an angle, add flower food to a vase of fresh water, and replace the water when it starts to look cloudy. Remove any submerged leaves and your sunflowers should last for up to 12 days.