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Thursday, October 6, 2022

The world of 1000 sunflowers

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A single large seed supplier now has 32 different varieties in its range, and collectors exchange particularly strong-growing varieties.

“King Kong” is considered to be the largest sunflower that is regularly offered in the trade. In optimal conditions, it grows four and a half meters high. But many a lover can come up with seeds that produce much larger specimens. Almost six meters were specimens that emerged as winners at a competition in Lower Austria.

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This diversity has always delighted flower and garden lovers. Whether in a pot or in the garden, whether in the field or in a vase – the “Indian gold flower” is definitely one of the favorite flowers. “Helianthus annuus” – the annual sunflower – is a child from America. Between northern Mexico and southern Canada, these plants were already cultivated by the Native American population. First for the raw consumption of the kernels, later for the extraction of oil and flour for bread and flat cakes. Helianthus belongs to the daisy family. D

The distinguishing feature is the huge yellow flower heads, which are up to 60 centimeters in diameter and, depending on the species, can also be reddish to reddish brown. The flower heads themselves consist of a large number of small, inconspicuous flowers in the center surrounded by mostly yellow leaves. Each flower yields a sunflower seed after fertilization. The name Helianthus comes from the fact that the sunflower always turns its “face” towards the sun (helios = sun). The leaves and the trunk are provided with a slightly prickly hair.

Sunflowers are mostly unbranched and form only a single flower head per plant. However, there are now many species that also occur branched. The smallest varieties are very often offered in flower pots and do not grow higher than 30 to 40 centimeters (“Pacino”).

The world of 1000 sunflowersThe world of 1000 sunflowers

The “Teddybär” variety has double flowers, while “Parade Gold” has particularly strong yellow petals, which is also heavily branched and therefore blooms for a particularly long time and is also very well suited for cutting.

The dark red varieties such as “Prado” or “Floristan” are popular. The “Taiyo” variety has the largest flowers: large, dark discs with golden yellow petals sit on the almost two meter high stems.

The world of 1000 sunflowersThe world of 1000 sunflowers

remove leaves!

The “Moonwalker” variety is unique; the lemon-yellow petals shine on stems that are 250 centimeters high. “Giganteus” is impressive: this sunflower grows three to five meters high, just like “King Kong”. One variety – “Sunbelievable” – flowers from May until frost, but does not set seeds. In principle, sunflowers are extremely easy to care for: a humus-rich soil that is well fertilized and kept evenly moist is sufficient. If you then add a full sun location, the flowers will grow skyward.

Sunflowers will last for many days in a vase if, after cutting, you remove most of the leaves and dip the stems four inches into boiling water for a few seconds. Only then are the cells opened and the plant can absorb water.

Source: Nachrichten

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