Botanical name: Helianthus annuus
Plant family: Sunflower (bot.Asteraceae)
Occurrence: Europe, North, Central and South America
The sunflower (botanically Helianthus) is a genus of plants from the sunflower family. The botanical name is made up of the Greek words helios (= sun) and anthos (= flower) and comes from Greek mythology:
The girl Clytia fell in love with the sun god Apollo, who, however, did not return her love. Clytia, deeply unhappy at the rejection, sat down naked on a rock, spurned food and drink and watched her beloved for nine days as he steered his sun chariot across the sky. After nine days the girl turned into a flower, the blossom of which from then on turned towards Apollo and his chariot. The plant in the history of the Clytia must have been something different from the sunflower known to us, as it originally comes from North and Central America. However, since the orientation of the buds and leaves of the sunflower is always based on the position of the sun in the course of a day, the name of the mythological plant was adopted.
In the 16th century the Spaniards brought the plant to Europe as an ornamental plant and its kernels have been used as food since the 17th century. Overall, the sunflower is a popular crop because of its seeds and the oil made from them. The oil is used in culinary and pharmaceutical applications and is also used as a preservative and component of biodiesel.
Care tips for sunflowers
We have already removed the lower leaves of the sunflowers for you. Should any of them come into contact with the water in your vase, remove them, otherwise the water quality will deteriorate. Cut the stems diagonally with a sharp knife. Then you can also make an incision about 1 to 2 centimeters deep from below so that the flower can better absorb the oxygen from the water. Heat water and hold the ends in the boiling water for a few seconds. This wastes the plant fibers on the stem, which means that the flowers do not soak up too much water and the stems do not start to rot. Finally, arrange the sunflowers in a vase with lukewarm water and add the fresh flowers. Much joy!