Interesting facts about sunflowers

sunflower facts

The scientific name of sunflowers is Helianthus, from the Greek word helios for sun and anthus meaning flower.

Sunflower needs a lot of sun and follows the sun’s movements across the sky from east to west, this phenomenon is called heliotropism.

Each sunflower is actually made of thousands of teeny flowers called florets. The iconic yellow petals and fuzzy brown centers are actually individual flowers themselves. As many as 2000 can make up the classic sunflower bloom.


Each sunflower can contain as many as 1000 to 2000 seeds.

Sunflowers have been cultivated and harvested by many cultures for at least 4,500 years.

The sunflower is native to the America’s and was used extensively by Native American Indians for food, as oil, in bread, medical ointments, dyes and body paints.

Sunflowers are very fast growing plants, in the right conditions they can grow 2.4-3.7 m (8-12 feet) tall in six months.

The tallest sunflower on record was 9.17 m (30 ft 1 in)

Vincent Van Gogh did a series of paintings featuring and called Sunflowers.

sunflower vincent van gogh

Sunflowers have been planted to help soak up nuclear radiation. They can extract toxin such as lead, arsenic and uranium from contaminated soil.

Tsar Peter the Great was so fascinated by the sunny flowers he saw in the Netherlands that he took some back to Russia.

The sunflower is the national flower of Russia.

The largest gathering of people dressed as sunflowers consists of 748 people achieved by Karnevalsgesellschaft “Bleib treu” (Germany) in Boke, Germany, on 14 May 2015.