Sunflower Fun Facts

Sunflowers are known to be "happy" flowers.  They symbolize cheerfulness, happiness, and positivity.

When a sunflower is growing, it tilts it's head during the day to follow the sun.  The tracking of the sun in young sunflower heads is called heliotropism.  The sunflower stops tracking the sun when it begins blooming and is mature, at which point it generally faces east.

Mature sunflowers face east.  When they reach maturity, sunflowers can attract up to 5 times more pollinators because they warm up faster than westward facing plants.

The oil in sunflower seeds is used in soaps and paints.

The flower petals of the sunflower can be used for a yellow dye.

Sunflower leaves can be used as food for livestock.

One sunflower can have up to 2,000 seeds.

There are 2 kinds of sunflower seeds: black and striped.  The black seeds are used to make oil.  The striped seeds are used for snacks.

Sunflower seeds may be eaten dry or roasted, or ground into nut butter and used in birdseed mixes.

The tallest sunflower was grown by a man in Karst, Germany.  It reached over 30 feet tall and was confirmed by the Guinness World Records on August 28, 2014.  The same man, Hans-Peter Schiffer held the same title in 2009, 2012, and 2013.

Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine in Eastern Europe.  Ukraine is one of the world's largest producers of sunflower seeds and oil.

The Sunflower is the State Flower of Kansas.

Sunflowers are native to North America.  They are now harvested around the world.

North Dakota is the leading state in the U.S. for sunflower production.

There are more than 60 different kinds of sunflowers in the United States.

Sunflowers can decontaminate soil that has been wrecked by dangerous toxins.  They can remove lead, arsenic, and uranium from the soil.  Sunflowers were used to help reduce the effects of pollution after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.

Each sunflower is made up of thousands of tiny flowers in the head of the sunflower.  These are called disk flowers.