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The Helianthus Annus is classified as follows:
Common name- Sunflower, Garden flower, or common Sunflower
Species: Helianthus annuus
The Sunflower is my favorite flower. One of my reasons for choosing the sunflower was its striking beauty, from its long fuzzy stem to its beautiful golden petals that resemble the rays of the sun. Another reason why I selected the sunflower is because of the way sunflowers make me feel, and their ability to brighten up any room. I also chose the Sunflower because its seeds are the main ingredient in my favorite lotion. Also I love Sunflower seeds.
The name Helianthus Annus comes from the Greek word Helios, meaning “sun” and anthos, meaning “flower,” annus was from Linnaeus, it was the only sunflower known to him that lived for a single season, hence it was called annus for “annual” (Mitchell, 08). The sunflower is native to primarily North America. The sunflower grows in prairies and dry open areas. It grows best in sunny moist areas. The sunflower is tolerant of high and low temperatures, although more tolerant to low temperatures with the optimum temperature range being 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit (Mitchell, 08).
Helianthus A. is an annual plant, that can grow to be 4.6 m tall. It has large, rough and hairy leaves. A single sunflower is actually a flower head consisting of numerous flowers. Helianthus A. can grow to be about 20-30 cm in diameter. Flower heads consist of numerous densely arranged florets (Mitchell, 08). Sterile ray florets on the outer side vary in color- they can be yellow, red or orange. The disc florets inside the circular head produce seeds. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds (Mitchell, 08). The florets inside the sunflower's cluster are spirally arranged, which is a very efficient way of packing seeds within the flower head.
Sunflowers are quite useful. Sunflowers seeds provide oil which can be used as salad dressing or in cooking. It can also contribute to the manufacturing of margarine when hydrogenated (Mitchell, 08). Sunflowers contain nutrients such as Vitamin A and E, tannins, inulin, levulin, magnesium, selenium, B-1, B-5, phosphorous, tryptophan, copper, B-6, manganese, folate, fiber, iron and zinc, amino acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Borivoje, Vasilich, Poulet, Hata 2011).
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"The Sunflower: The Helianthus Annus." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020
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Sunflowers rely heavily on pollen movement between plants by insects and bee colonies. With the help of bees and other insects cross-fertilization is able to take place. The bloom period is during the summer where the seed abundance is high (Mitchell, 08). Flowers contain both male and female producing parts. In order for reproduction to take place, the pollen has to come into contact with the stigma of the pistil (Mitchell, 08). Pollen is pushed out the top of the style as it grow, Pollen is then ready to be picked up by any insects that happen to visit the flower in search of pollen or nectar. Once the style has pushed the pollen out it splits open, exposing the stigmatic surface, which now ready to receive pollen (Baxter,2011). Bees are most common visitors (Mitchell, 08). On occasion where the stigma receives no pollen, the stigma will twist and wrap itself around its own pollen. Seeds created by self-pollination will only produce flowers that look like the original plant, so no hybridization will have occurred (Baxter,2011).
There is a lot of information on sunflowers in the text book. From the book I learned that the Sunflower family is the second largest of the flowering plant families. I also learned that sunflowers were used by Native Americans for many things like making bread. Also the book mentions that the sunflower may exhibit heliotropic movements when the flower is young. The book also mentions that commercially grown sunflowers always face east.
One thing that I found extremely interesting during my research was that the term sunflower is actually a broad term that describes many flowers within the helianthus genus, and that people commonly associate the flower Helianthus Annuus with the term sunflower. After telling this to my parents they wanted to know about every single one; however I decided to focus on one in particular the Helianthus annuus. They were also very interested in sunflower oil and what they could use to cook it with. They also were interested to find out that the sunflower can also come in different colors. The Helianthus annuus is the flower that you usually buy at your local supermarket as a gift for special occasions.