The beauty of nature is that flowers will come and go with the seasons, and we’re ok with that. It’s why we appreciate them so much. But there’s something about sunflowers that makes us yearn for them to stay with us a little bit longer…
Sunflower season here at Studley’s makes it feel like the happiest place on earth! We get to share in the joy of offering them in fresh flower bouquets and their bright sunny faces appear throughout the outdoor greenhouses and garden center.
Maybe it’s because sunflowers are a reminder of the peak of summer warmth, sunshine and our longing to hang onto the most carefree vibe of the year. No matter the reason, we’re here for the season!
Anatomy of a Sunflower
The botanical name for Sunflower is Helianthus, from the greek words “sun” and “flower.” Sunflowers are actually made up of thousands of tiny flowers.
Helianthus annus or Common Sunflower is an annual sunflower in our New England zones, meaning it will only last a single season, as it cannot survive our harsh winters.
Heliopsis helianthoides or False Sunflower is a perennial variety that while not as tall and showy as the annual, will bush out and provide multiple blooms for 2-3 months in summer to fall, and then return bigger and better the next year.
Even on cloudy days, young and developing sunflowers will generally face east during the day, and will end the day facing the west at sunset. As such, it’s one of the great wonders of nature, and as mere mortals, it does our hearts some good to think of sunflowers as “tracking the sun,” because isn’t turning toward the sun and staying in the light a lovely form of existence?
My Pro Tip
Both annual and perennial sunflowers are extremely beneficial to pollinators and make excellent cut flowers to bring indoors or share with someone special. At the end of their season, once blooms have died back and turn brown, you can place a bag over the top to catch any falling seeds and cut to harvest and plant next year. Alternatively, leave them standing over winter to sustain our wildlife friends who feed on and store their seeds.
See you at Studley’s!