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Tall, majestic & beautiful. Sunflowers come in a variety of colours including shades of yellow, brown, red & white. They are often grown to fulfill a variety of purposes such as: educating young gardeners, beautifying the vegetable garden, supplying protection for more tender vegetables such as cucumbers & tomatoes, the production of sunflower oil as well as providing birds & people alike with delicious seed. It is a plant with an interesting history and a bright future as it regains popularity in gardens across North America.
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The sunflower (Helianthus anuus) is a North American native plant & was first domesticated (even before corn) by the American Indian into the single headed plant that we know today. Seed was taken from North America by Spanish explorers around 1500 & became widespread throughout Europe. Commercialization of the sunflower took place in Russia &, by the early nineteenth century, over two million acres of sunflowers were grown – primarily for the production of oil. By 1880, Russian seed was being offered in U.S. seed catalogues. The Mammoth Russian sunflower is still a popular variety in today’s gardens. In 1930, Canada started the first official government breeding program for sunflowers.
Helianthus annuus 'Color Fashion' Ht: 180cm. Sp: 60cm. Annual
Blend of yellow, bronze, red and purple; single flowered
Helianthus annuus 'Mammoth Russian' Ht: 180cm. Sp: 60cm. annual
Huge 25 cm single yellow blooms. Grey striped seeds are a treat for birds & people alike.
Helianthus annuus 'Music Box' Ht: 70cm. Sp: 60cm. annual
Single, 10-13 cm. Dwarf sunflower in a mix of colours include cream over yellow, bi-colours, and mahogany red.
Helianthus annuus 'Ring of Fire' Ht: 125cm. Sp: 60cm. annual
Large, yellow tipped flowers have a reddish brown centre. All America Winner
Helianthus annuus 'Soraya' Ht: 180cm. Sp: 60cm. annual
10-15 cm., light orange flowers w/ dark mahogany centre. All America Winner 2000. The first sunflower to ever win this award.
Helianthus annuus 'Sunspot' Ht: 40cm. Sp: 45cm. annual
Single 15 cm blooms; bright yellow flowers on a dwarf plant with excellent branching.
PREPARATION OF SEEDS FOR EATING
Leave seeds on plant until the entire seed head is brown & dry.
Remove the seeds by brushing them out.
Soak in a solution of 60 – 125 ml. of salt to 8 liters of water overnight. Let seeds dry out on sheets of paper towel.
Bake @ 300º F for 30-40 min. & coat lightly in melted butter or margarine (1 tsp. To 250 ml. Of seed).
Place on absorbent piece of paper towel & salt to taste.