Have you ever seen a garden of yellow high and big flowers? It is must be a garden of sunflower. Sunflower or Helianthus annuus L. is known as a big yellow flower. It looks like a sun so is called sunflower. This plant is included in decorative plants. In sunflower history, it has been cultivated by Indiana in North America or thousands of years ago. When it arrived in South America, the Incan tribe use it as a food source. Sunflowers are suitable for the tropical cause they need sunlight. The type of soil that sunflowers likes are warm and fertile. In subtropical climates, the sunflower will grow in spring and autumn.
The sunflower garden would give us its joy because of its fusion of yellow, brown, and green. The color of the sunflower is not only yellow and brown. Sunflower has several species, and it has its color, respectively. The most popular sunflower is Big Smile, it is the yellow and brown flower we know. Teddy Bear, perhaps the name taken by the petals that looks heavy like fur on the doll, this kind did not have a brown side. It’s all yellow. Fiesta Del Sol has red petals and yellow in the middle its different from other species, the diameters about 10cm. Early Russian is the giant of sunflowers. It can be 2-3m tall and 30cm in diameters. Cherry Rose is black in the middle, purplish-red in the base of petals – it looks like wine color – and whitish-yellow on the petals’ tip, or it might look pale. Music Box looks similar to a cherry rose, but it’s different. The petals have a vivid yellow and red gradient. Red Sun has the same shape and size as early Russian, but the color is different. It has a dark red color in the petals and black in the middle. Velvet queen has a gradient color among black, red, orange, and yellow. Moon Walker looks like the usual sunflower, but the sunflower’s petals are pale yellow. It’s 170cm tall. Autumn Beauty has a different color in each burgeon. It perhaps looks like a cherry rose, red sun, music box, or a big smile.
What Do Sunflowers Symbolize?
As we know, every flower – plants – has its meaning or philosophy behind it. It is perhaps different in various countries. In several cases, the meaning of plants is not only by its flower but also by the plant’s whole part.
The sunflower’s meaning is to brighten and warm life, just like the sun. Still mirroring the sun, the sunflower could stand firmly in many circumstances. So that sunflower symbolized positive vibes of a person, although they face lots of unpredictable situations.
Behind the light color of the sunflower, it has a meaning. Yellow and green would be the right combination color to rise the cheerful and happy. We need to transmit the pleasant, happy, and good things that we have to others because it might generate uplifting.
We can find manifesting of loyalty on the sunflower. The sunflowers will face east in the morning and facing the west in the evening. It corresponds with the existence of the sun. It is the so-called phototropism. It proves how much the sunflower loves the sun. Because of that, the sunflower has symbolized the loyalty of love.
It, not just a romantic meaning that a sunflower can give. Sunflower also can give symbolize the joy of friendship or brotherhood.
What Makes a Sunflower Special?
Sunflower has tens of flower petals that are beautifully arranged so that sunflower is a compound flower. The stem of a sunflower can grow until 4meters with strong roots inside the soil. The sunflower’s unique thing is heliotropism, and this is a character of the sunflower, in which the sunflower will always follow the sunlight.
Furthermore, sunflower has so many things that could be generated. Sunflower could produce oil, snack, fertilizer, and the garden could be a tourist destination.
Benefits of Sunflower
Here are the pros of sunflower that we will study. Sunflower is one of many plants that could give humans lots of benefits. Below, several advantages that we can take from sunflower.
1. Sunflower oil
Sunflower seeds that have been compressed will produce oil. Often, sunflower oil is used for cooking oil. Sunflower oil has so many advantages. If you use it as cooking oil, it will be healthier than usual cooking oil. Sunflower oil contains vitamin K and E. Sunflower oil was invented in 1835. Nowadays, the country with the biggest producer of sunflower oil is Russia, Ukraine, Argentina. When the sunflower will be produced into oil, it is usually cultivated differently. Other than that, sunflower oil also could be contained for cosmetics.
The sunflower seed is also could be dried and salted to be a snack. This snack is a so-called Kuaci in Malay (Chinese: 瓜籽 guā zǐ). Sunflower seeds were the worldwide snack, cause not only people from Southeast Asia that at the sunflower seed. Russians immensely love sunflower seed. It sounds impossible for them to stop eating the sunflower seeds since they open the package. It is not only the lower class in Russia that loves to eat sunflower seeds, but everybody loves to eat sunflower seeds at any moment. The favorites of Russian is not vodka, but kuaci or sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds on populist is a right snack. The sunflower seeds are not a mere snack but a healthy one. Sunflower seeds have low calories and high fiber. In addition to snacks, sunflower seeds could also be used as a topping on cake or bread and mix in a salad. It seems like you eat the nuts, you can mix them into any food you want.
Sunflower has a good ingredient to fix the soil or to fertilize the soil. Sunflowers contains 4% nitrogen, 4.1% phosphor, and 0.59% potassium. With those ingredients, you can compost sunflowers. A compost from sunflower can replace 25% – 50% artificial fertilizer.
Sunflower is a kind of plant that can protect and feed source another cultivated plants like rice. The strong root of sunflower can block soil erosion.
4. Livestock feed
The skin of sunflower seed that has been researched comprises 30.32% protein and 48.28% fat. After it is pressed to be an oil, we can use the dregs for a meal of livestock feed.
5. Attract the pollinators
The color of the sunflower can invite the bees to pollinate sunflowers and also others to plant around. The process of pollinate would be going well. It also invites the birds to come to the sunflower garden and eat the insect that hurt other plants around.
6. Tourist destination
The magnificence of the sunflower needs to be approved. Imagine the sunflower garden expanse. It is so amazing. The sunflower can be a tourist destination. It suits when the summer holidays come. People will come to show and enjoy a garden of sunflower. Apart from being a tourist destination, it could be the source of foreign exchange because it’s profitable.
Sunflowers as Medicine
Of course, sunflower has thousands of benefits, especially for medicine.
Sunflowers oil contains omega 6 and omega 9, which means sunflower oil is good to add energy to our body. Other than that, omega 9 is good for the diet menu. It can help you reduce cholesterol and heart disease risk. That’s why sunflower oil is labeling as a portion of good food to reduce heart disease risk.
Besides heart disease risk, sunflowers also can reduce blood sugar levels. Someone with diabetes is recommended to consume sunflower seed 30 grams per day as a diet. For more simplicity, you can add sunflower seed to the bread to reduce carbohydrates’ effect on the blood. Sunflower seed is also can be enjoyed as a mix in a salad.
The protein on sunflower seeds would slow down stomach emptying process. Thus you would not feel hungry quickly, but you will feel full quicker than eating carbohydrates or fat.
The sunflower stew usually mixed in with other herbs also beneficial. The sunflower stew can reduce the grievance of rheumatism. You only need to boil the sunflower and stick it on the part that hurts. The sunflower stew is also could drink. Mix it into the tea, and it will relieve headache and breast inflammation.
Selenium and minerals on sunflower seed increase the thyroid function inside the body. That means it will be good to arrange the metabolism, heartbeat, and body temperature. When those three things are in the right circumstances, the body will be stronger and stable weight.
Sunflower also has benefits for beauty. Sunflower oil contains vitamin E as a source of antioxidants. Thus, the sunflower oil could protect the skin from free radicals. It will reduce the risk of wrinkles and premature aging.
The application of sunflower oil on beauty products will not clog pores. Clog pores can remove the whiteheads and blackheads. But sunflower oil is an agent non-comedogenic. It fits any skin type.
On some study, sunflower seed has a compound chemo-preventive can block the growth of cancer cell and kill tumor growth. It also exists in vitamin E and selenium. You can fix up the DNA to stop any cancer, including breast cancer.
Can Sunflowers Kill You?
Are you wondering if the sunflower can kill you? A sunflower cannot kill you unless somebody devises to kill you using a sunflower anyway. Below is part of t cons of sunflower.
Can sunflower kill something? Absolutely yes! Sunflower has a character as allelopathic, which means when the sunflowers issue the toxic to make another plant stop growing up. It is gone to make the farmer harmful cause they cannot harvest the crops. The crops that susceptible and forbid to be planted around the sunflower are potatoes and peas. So, sunflower kills some plants around.
The squirrel is a big fan of sunflower seed. So when they know that there is a sunflower garden, they will come and aim to get the seeds. However, that’s not the main problem. The problem is the squirrel would eat your fruit plants around the sunflower garden too.
Sunflowers want us to pull their strong stem out at the end of the season. If we let them stand out, they will intoxicate the soil and other plants around or another next plant. It is naturally because of the character of allelopathic they have.
Other than that, the tall of the sunflower is also comes with the problem. Sunflower would catch the wind. The wind cannot go through the sunflower garden, so another plant is not exposed to the wind before the sunflower will not get exposed to the wind.
The sunflower oil with omega 6 is also cannot be consumed too much. Be worried as it would cause inflammation. It means it is terrible for health because it increases weight and obesity.
When we use the sunflower oil for cooking over 82 degrees Celcius, it will increase the toxic called aldehyde. Aldehyde could break the DNA and cell, so that it might cause Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Enjoying eating sunflower seeds can harm your teeth. If you too often to eat sunflower seed, it could break your teeth because you open it by biting the skin and get the seed. The skin of sunflower seeds is hard and harsh, so your teeth will break hard things in a lot of time since you start it until you decide to stop eating it.
The conclusion is sunflower has so many benefits that can get it naturally or even by processing it. On the other hand, sunflower also has disadvantages that can be harmful either naturally for neighboring plants or by mistake in processing for humans to consume it.
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