It is assumed that sunflowers may have been domesticated prior to corn, as beforehand as 3000 BC in the area that is currently Mexico, brand-new Mexico, and Arizona and in the Mississippi sink by 2300 BC. The tree is absolutely native to northern main America and grew tall and bushy, with countless flowers per plant. Evidence argues that the seed were supplied to grind into flour because that bread or made into a meal that was blended with squash, corn, or beans. Miscellaneous tribes offered the plants to produce dyes, for oil the was applied to the skin and hair, and the stalks were also used together a building material. Sunflowers were additionally used together beanpoles, prefer corn was in the 3 Sisters an approach of growing.

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Original Sun

The original sunflower was tall, but had little flowers with relatively small seeds – these to be ground as a grain crop.

Spanish explorers returned to Europe through seeds part time in the so late 16th century, and also the sunflower’s farming as a decorative annual spread. English authorities issued a patent for extracting oil native the seed in 1716, and also by the so late 18th century, sunflowers were being grown nearly exclusively because that this purpose. Peter the an excellent was a proponent of sunflower oil, and also encouraged that is spread east into Russia. Commercial processing of sunflower oil emerged roughly 1830.


Solar Power

The Russian Orthodox Church forbids the consumption of a variety of oils throughout Lent, however sunflower oil never ever made the list. Together a result, Russian farmer were farming over 2 million acre of the tree by the mid-19th century. Russian breeders started to rest sunflowers into two categories: One form for higher oil content, and another type that created larger seed for person consumption. V.S. Pustovoit is credited with developing a considerably high-oil variety. By the finish of the century, seeds had actually made their method back to north America in the hands of Russian and East europe immigrants. Seed companies started to advertising Mammoth Russian sunflowers approximately 1880. Commercial handling of sunflower oil in phibìc America started in the mid-1920s. The cake left end after pushing the seed for oil ended up being a advantageous feed for livestock.



In 1930, the Canadian government launched that own reproduction program, and also a little crushing plant to be unveiled in 1946. The demand for sunflower oil spread right into the north US states. In 1964, the government of Canada began licensing a Russian cultivar called Peredovik because that its incredibly high oil content, and also the first hybrids started to appear in the 1970s. By then, there were end 5 million acres of sunflowers gift grown in the us alone, and also much the this was being exported earlier to Europe, together it was lot cheaper to produce than olive oil, and also healthier than pet lard.

Today, the course, there room scores of ranges to choose from, consisting of the really vast types, smaller, compact varieties, pollen-less types for the floral market, and also heirlooms that date back to farming in Italy, China, and elsewhere. A wide selection of colours, sizes, and also seed varieties are currently available. A variety of varieties have also been bred to develop substantially an ext oil 보다 Peredovik.


Teddy Bear

Sunflowers room members that the family members Asteraceae, i beg your pardon all form a composite head (capitulum) do of masses of basic flowers (florets) that each develop a seed if successfully pollinated. Sunflowers commonly have in between 1,000 come 1,400 florets, and also potential seeds, every head. The capitulum is surrounding by petals, make the whole structure seem choose one single flower. This household is vast, and includes daisies, chicories, dandelions, and, strangely, lettuce.


Honeybees love sunflowers

All sunflowers are highly attractive come bees and also other pollinators.

Sunflowers earned your name because of a curious process called heliotropism. During the budding stage of growth, the top of almost all sunflowers face east at dawn, and also follow the sun throughout the day, dealing with west in ~ dusk. A flexible piece of the stem (the pulvinis), just listed below the flower bud allows this curious movement. One various other remarkable capability of the sunflower is its usage in extracting toxicity ingredients from soil. Not only have the right to the plants draw up lead and also arsenic, however they were supplied after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to attract up the radioactive chemistry cesium, uranium, and also strontium. This is a long-term procedure known together phytoextraction, however is believed to be much less environmentally disruptive than other methods.

Near the finish of July, the town of Altona, Manitoba, celebrates the Manitoba Sunflower Festival, an event that has been to run for virtually 50 years. Events incorporate live music, Mennonite food and crafts, a quilt show, motorcycle stunts, a dog show, petting zoo, baseball, farm yard markets, and also the crowning that Manitoba’s Sunflower Queen.


Russian Mammoth

Russian Mammoth is a great choice because that eating – or sharing with the birds.

How to grow Sunflowers

Difficulty: Easy. For container growing, choose tiny varieties. The bigger sunflowers have actually deep roots to anchor castle in place and also need to go straight in the garden bed.

Timing: Sunflower seeds require warmth to germinate so direct seed indigenous mid-April come mid-May. Seeds can be straight sown as late as June, however will develop flowers much later on in the season. Transplanted sunflowers will need staking, together their roots will be limited by pots.

Sowing: Sow 1cm (½”) deep, and sow around twice as countless seeds together you need. Thin this come 30cm (12”) personal for little to medium sized plants, and 60cm (24”) because that the tall varieties.

Soil: select a website in full sun, with mean fertility and an excellent drainage. Sunflowers are not very sensitive to soil pH, and also can it is in grown all over in the selection from 5.7 to just over 8.0.

Growing: use an all function organic fertilizer about fifty percent way through the summer. To aid proper development of seed you’ll be eating for feeding to birds, dissolve 5ml (1 tsp) Borax in 350ml (1½ cups) of water and also spread end 5m (15’) that row. This gives plants through boron, i beg your pardon is vital for developing big, vigorous seeds. Carry out not over-apply this solution, though, as too lot boron can injury the plants.

Harvest: in ~ the end of summer and also into autumn, depending upon when the seeds were planted, the sunflower seeds should be ready to harvest. Permit seed top to dried on your stems. If crucial put a brown bag over the flowerhead and secure it in ~ the bottom to store squirrels and also birds away. The important thing is that as the tree dies ago it has time to construct the seed within your hulls. After that cut turn off the heads, bring indoors, and (after totally drying out) the seeds have the right to be removed by rubbing and also pushing versus them.

Storage: come prepare seeds for eating, use the grey or white-seeded variety. When done, rub the seeds off the big flower head and also soak overnight in 4L the water v 250ml (1 cup) that salt. Drain, then dry in an oven at 250 F because that 4-5 hrs then store in one airtight container. The black seeded types are greatly used for pressing oil or birdseed.

Seed info: In optimum conditions, at least 75% that sunflower seeds should germinate. Stored effectively (cool, dry, and also dark), this seeds should last for approximately 7 years.

Growing for seed: Sunflower florets open over a duration of 5 to 10 days, and are pollinated by insects. To preserve purity that the seed, separation, personal, instance varieties should be diverted by 2-5km (1-3 miles), depending upon the dimension of the crop and its proximity to other growers.

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Pests & Disease: few insect pests cause problems, however watch for damages to the reduced stems indigenous squirrels and other rodents. If damages occurs, spray the tribe of all your sunflowers through a equipment of water, cayenne pepper, and a pair of autumn of food soap.