12 Interesting Facts About Sunflowers
1. Sunflowers have been cultivated by Native Americans in North America since the mid-3000 BC. and were used for food, medicine, dyes and oils. Subsequently, it appeared in the rest of the world, thanks to the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century.
2. The Russian Emperor Peter the Great was so fascinated by the sunflowers he saw during his trip to the Netherlands that he decided to take them to Russia. Gradually, sunflowers became very popular throughout Eastern Europe, in part for religious reasons - the Orthodox Church allows the consumption of sunflower oil during fasting days, unlike oils of animal origin.
3. The tallest sunflower in the world was registered in 2014. The plant, over 8 meters high, was grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany.
4. Sunflowers not only look like a miniature sun, but also need a lot of sunlight. It grows noticeably faster if it receives at least eight hours of sunlight a day.
5. Not all sunflowers are yellow. There are over 60 species known in the world, some of which have reddish petals or shades of brown and orange. And sometimes a sunflower bouquet
can be rather a unique gift!
6. Sunflowers are grown not only for purely pragmatic purposes and intentions, that is, when we want to derive some beneficial benefit from nature. There are varieties of ornamental sunflowers, selected for their beauty and attractiveness - among them are most plants with colors other than yellow.
7. Sunflowers can remove toxins from contaminated soil such as lead, arsenic and uranium because they are natural soil deactivators. They have been used to clean up places where some of the world's biggest environmental disasters have occurred - Chernobyl and Fukushima.
8. In 2012, American astronaut Donald Roy Petit delivered sunflower seeds to the International Space Station to study the process of greening plants.
9. Sunflowers attract bees, which makes planting very useful in areas where beekeeping is highly developed.
10. Sunflower oil is extremely rich in calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A and D.
11. By the way, the Latin name of the sunflower - Helianthus, translates as "sun flower". And this is no accident! People have long noticed that the stems and leaves of this plant grow as if towards the sun (scientists call this characteristic "heliotrope"). And this is no accident, because sunflower tissues contain the hormone auxin (this phytohormone stimulates growth and development when saturated with sunlight).
12. A painting from the Van Gogh Sunflowers series (a total of 9 paintings of the same name) was sold in 1987 to a Japanese company for $ 73.8 million.