Meaning of Sunflower

What is Sunflower:

Sunflower is a herbaceous plant of the asteraceae familyscientific name helianthus annuus, which is characterized by having yellow flowersedible fruits and robust and erect stems.

The sunflower receives this name thanks to the properties that this plant possesses when it is young and that allow it to turn in the direction of the Sun’s rays (heliotropism), and thus take advantage of its virtues.

Sunflower

However, the sunflower also receives other names such as mirasol, flower of the Sun, tile corn, among others. Likewise, from Nahuatl it receives the names of chimalatl either chimalxochitlwhich mean “shield flower”.

The sunflower is a plant native to North and Central America, where it has been cultivated since ancient times, approximately 3,000 years ago. Then, sunflower cultivation spread throughout the world at the beginning of the 16th century, after the colonization process.

Currently, it is a plant cultivated in a large number of countries thanks to its various nutritional contributions derived from its seeds and its properties to obtain oil. On the other hand, sunflowers are also used for decorative purposes.

Sunflower Characteristics

Below are the main characteristics of sunflowers.

  • It is a herbaceous plant.
  • It grows annually.
  • It is a plant that can measure up to three meters in height.
  • It has a robust, upright stem, with hairs and large oval leaves. The stem does not branch.
  • It is a plant that has a response to sunlight called heliotropism. Therefore, it has the ability to move in the direction of the sun’s rays.
  • The sunflower flower can measure between 5 and 40 centimeters across.
  • It is a plant that grows daily if it has the necessary conditions.
  • It has various nutritional properties from which sunflower oil and protein-rich flours can be obtained.
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sunflower life cycle

The life cycle of the sunflower is short, approximately six months, and begins with the sowing of the seeds at the end of the cold season, since it is a plant that grows during the warm season.

seed sowing

Sunflower seeds are characterized by being covered by a black layer with a cream-colored line. This layer protects the seed until the temperatures and climatic conditions are favorable for its germination.

When said layer is opened, the germination process begins, which is usually during the spring, in this way the plant feeds better on sunlight.

Germination

Sunflower seed germination can take between five and ten days. The seed coat opens, thanks to the moisture in the soil, and the roots begin to sprout. The first root that sprouts is the one that is anchored deeply and strongly, to later support the plant.

The first stem that grows and sticks out of the ground is called a seedling.

plant growth

Sunflower plants have roots that can reach a meter and a half in order to support the large stems of this plant, which can be up to three meters tall. In this way the plant is strongly attached to the soil and absorbs the water and nutrients necessary for its growth and continuous development.

As the stem grows, so will the leaves, which are characterized by having a shape similar to a shovel, and after approximately 30 days, the flower bud is formed, which, even without opening, will turn in the direction of the rays of the Sun to receive its light.

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It should be remembered that sunflowers are plants that depend a lot on sunlight to grow and develop, as well as on an average temperature of 25 °C.

Flowering

The sunflower blooms after a month of plant growth, during which time the flower bud forms and then slowly opens. Once the flower bud is open, the yellow petals become visible, the tips of which curl up at the edges backwards.

After a week, the first petals fall to the ground and are replaced by others of the same colour.

wilting

Once the growth process is complete, the sunflower completely drops its petals and the wilting process begins. In this, the flower bud shrinks and from its central points the seeds are formed in the next 30 days.

These seeds will fall to the ground, from some new sunflower plants will be born and others will be consumed.

New outbreak

New sunflower plants will grow from the seeds that fall to the ground, especially if they have the necessary environmental conditions.

sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds, also called sunflower seeds, are a food rich in minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which provide health benefits. They are usually consumed after being lightly roasted and, in some cases, with a touch of salt.

Various products can be obtained from the sunflower seed thanks to its high percentage of oil. For example, sunflower oil for cooking, livestock feed and being part of the ingredients of some cosmetics and detergents.