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Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Sunflower, My Fave

     It's always been my standard bearer, from email add, chat, IDs, my house, decorations. Aside  from the fact that my fave color is yellow (maybe one reason why I love this flower), sunflower is very cool to the eye, whose shape and image depicts the sun. It's like saying sunrise is here again for a new hope and a new beginning. Sunflower for me symbolizes summer and spring, bright day ahead, and it's rare you couldn't see it in almost all commercial flower shop nearby.
     The sunflower got its name from its huge fiery blooms forming like a sun. Sunflower or Helianthus annuus is an annual plant native to the Americas that possess a large flowering head.  Sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. The heads consist of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. Sunflower leaves can be used as a cattle food, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production. With sunflower, what is usually called the flower is actually a flower head also known as a composite flower of numerous florets, (small flowers) crowded together. The outer petal-bearing florets are the sterile ray florets and can be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds.
Head displaying florets in spirals of 34 and 55 around the outside
     Despite the common belief, mature sunflowers do not track the sun. The mature flower heads typically face east; only young sunflowers exhibit heliotropism or sun turning: the leaves and buds of young sunflowers follow the sun so that their orientation changes from east to west during the course of a day. The movements become a circadian response and when plants are rotated 180 degrees, the old response pattern is still followed for a few days, with leaf orientation changing from west to east instead. The leaf and flower head bud phototropism occurs while the leaf petioles and stems are still actively growing, but once mature, the movements stop. These movements involve the petioles bending or twisting during the day then unbending or untwisting at night. Members of the sunflower family are popular with butterflies because the wide flower head makes a good landing platform and the numerous individual flowers make for a high probability of finding nectar. Monarch butterflies are commonly seen nectaring on sunflowers during their fall migration.

     It's amazing to know the characteristic of sunflower, my favorite flower. It signifies coolness, new hope. A flower that can make you smile, rarely seen but delightful to look at and amazing to know...hope you have seen one..(",)..

#sunflower #flower #florets #blooms

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I would appreciate comments and links related to my blog post. Feel free ..~ April Brews