Sunflowers seem to have a presence about them, not in an anthropomorphic fashion, but in a grand, exciting way. Maybe it’s the bright color or the numbers of them when they are planted in large groups. Some are very tall reaching heights of over 20 feet but more likely to be about 6-8 feet tall.
As I look into the history and use of sunflowers I am again finding my self in awe. It is thought that sunflowers may have been domesticated before corn somewhere about 3000 BCE in Mexico and what is now the Southwestern United States. Seeds were taken back to Europe in the 16th century and then made a return in the 18th century after being cultivated and farmed in Russia.
Heliotropism is the the name for flowers/ plants that follow the Sun through the sky. Greek mythology tried to explained this action (my summary). Apollo the son of Zeus would drive his golden chariot across the sky from East to West every day. A sea nymph named Clytie was in love with Apollo but he was in love with someone else. Laying on some rocks naked and not eating or drinking for nine days, staring at Apollo without blinking she turned into a sunflower.
When the plants are young the follow the Sun but after they mature they don’t move much, typically facing East.
These images were taken just outside of Evansville Wisconsin.
The history on this plant is kind of fascinating, for more information consider checking out this link to the National Sunflower Association.
Even with the color removed and the image only in black and white, I find them fascinating.