Travelling though the country-side this past weekend I as pleasantly surprised by the numerous sunflower fields. I was amazed that the actual seeds grew in the head of the flower. I guess this is something elementary that most people know, I know now.
I decided to learn some more about this lovely flower. I was really surprised that they are not only important for cultivation of sunflower seed and oil, but also for scientific reasons!
They are native of the Americas and grow annually and they can grow as high as ten feet (three meters)! The actual flower is called the head the circular head mature to sunflower seeds. (The kernels are lined up in the head packed inside!)
The flowers began to arrive in Europe at the beginning of the 16th century, and the oil became popular during the 18th century. The first domesticated sunflower was around 2300BC, in the north part of Mexico. The Aztecs, and Otomi of Mexico and also the Incas used the sunflower as the symbol of the sun deity.
After the Chernobyl disaster, sunflowers were used to remove uranium. They have the ability to extract toxic ingredients such as uranium, lead, and arsenic, from the soil.
In 1979, H Vogel proposed that the pattern of florets in the head of a sunflower is a model pattern expressing polar coordinates. Their florets are arranged in a mathematical model.Wow! So the sunflower is not just a pretty flower!!
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