Sunflowers are among the warmest and happiest of flowers; who can fail to smile when their eyes fall upon the large and vibrantly-colored heads of these bright and bold beauties? Sunflowers grow tall and strong, typically 8 to 15 feet in height (though there’s evidence of a 40 foot monster being grown in Spain in the 16th Century), with the heads ranging from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. But it’s not size alone that makes these such a gorgeous gift. Sunflowers come in colors from bright yellows, through vibrant oranges to glorious reds and bold bronzes, mirroring the colors of the sun, and bringing warmth, energy and vitality into the home.
Sunflowers are members of the genus Helianthus, from Helios, the sun god of Greek mythology, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky from East to West every day – the very path the sunflower follows. Some say that because the sunflower turns its face to follow the sun (many variants exhibit this property, called heliotropism, in the bud stage), they symbolize faith.
Native to the Americas, sunflowers were highly prized by Native Americans (who placed a bowl of sunflower seeds on the graves of their departed) and worshiped by the Inca (who inscribed images of sunflowers in their temples, and decorated the dresses of their priestesses with golden sunflower discs.) Since 1903 the state flower of Kansas, wild sunflowers bring the Great Plains ablaze in the late summer as they explode into bloom along roadsides, in fields and hedgerows everywhere.
The Right Flowers in Your Inbox!
Sign up for our free notifications of new articles!
The sunflower is the traditional choice for the third wedding anniversary.
Big, bold and brassy, sunflowers brighten us up, nourish our soul and sustain our bodies with oils and seeds. Give a gift of sunflowers and as well as giving sunny thoughts of warmth and energy, you’re sending the recipient a message of adoration, of loyalty, and a wish for longevity, of friendship and of life. Our favorite online florist offers a wide variety of sunflower arrangements, including this glorious sunflower centerpiece, for your table during the fall season, and this harvest season cornucopia.