The ultimate summer flower, sunflowers not only resemble the sun with their bright yellow, round flower-heads, but are also famed for their habit of turning their heads towards the sun, which is known as heliotropism. This happens mostly in the bud stage and once they bloom the flowers become fixed, usually towards the east, the direction of the rising sun. The botanical name, Helianthus, which comes from the Greek, also means ‘sunflower’ ("helios" = sun and "anthos" = flower).
Beautiful and useful, sunflowers were originally cultivated by Native Americans and are still widely grown for their nutritious seeds, from which we get much of our cooking oil. Only in recent years have they been grown for their bold beauty, but already they are one of the top selling cut-flowers and many varieties now exist, varying in size and colour, from bright yellow to deep red.
Sunflowers are associated with the star-sign Leo and said to represent adoration and adulation, as well as sunshine, making them a perfect summer gift. They feature in several of our summer bouquets, including our Sunflower bouquet, pictured.