Origin of the sunflower
The sunflower originates from North and South America. Native Americans ate the flower’s seeds with beans, sweetcorn and squashes. The sunflower’s official name is helianthus; a combination of the Greek words ‘helios’ (sun) and ‘anthos’ (flower).
The sunflower’s colours and shapes
Everyone is familiar with the yellow sunflower, but the Queen of Summer is also available in orange, brown, cream and dark red. There’s also plenty of variety when it comes to shape: there are sunflowers with large or small flowers, with a single row of petals or with multiple rings of petals. In any shape and colour the sunflower guarantees a sizeable helping of summer sunshine. With most sunflowers the head is somewhat dipped.
Most of our BFA member florists will be stocking sunflowers especially when they're at there best throughout summer almost into autumn. However if you'd like the different colours or size heads that we've mentioned do speak directly with your florist, no doubt they will be able to help with your enquiry, but will need to order these varieties in especially for you.
Give your customers the following tips in order to ensure they fully enjoy their sunflowers.
• Select a clean vase and fill it with tap water at room temperature.
• Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.
• Cut or trim the stems diagonally by 3 to 5 cm with a sharp and clean knife or secateurs.
• Make sure there are no leaves hanging in the water.
• Do not place sunflowers in a draught, in full sun or near central heating.
• Regular top the vase up with tap water, because sunflowers are very thirsty. The vase will be empty before you know it!
• Don’t place sunflowers near a fruit bowl. Fruit emits ethylene gas which will cause the flowers to age more rapidly.
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