Ancient Peruvian sun worshippers revered the sunflower, which derives its name from the Greek words helios, meaning “sun,” and anthos, meaning “flower.” A native of North America, Helianthus annuus, the best-known of these bold, cheery flowers grows as an annual, and is a member of the Asteraceae family.
Sunflowers have a vase life of 6-12 days when properly cared for.
Care and Handling
Water stress and aging, evidenced by foliage deterioration and leaf yellowing, are the flower’s most common problems. Cut sunflower stems under water. Remove leaves that will fall below the waterline. The flowers’ weighty heads require special attention in floral design. Select vases of sufficient size and depth to support the stems.
Sunflowers dry well. Prop several stems in a vase, or hang them in a well-ventilated, warm area and allow them to air dry.
Sunflowers’ bright colors and attention-getting blooms make them perfect mass or focal flowers in a variety of designs. They’re particularly nice additions to garden-style bouquets or arrangements with a rustic flavor.