Friday, June 15, 2012

My new found love for the Sunflower

My first sunflower of the year barely began to yesterday. This is exciting for me as these were a surprise flower. In spring when I began watering the honeysuckle out back a bunch of baby plants popped up. I myself did not plant them and was curious as to what they were since they were not weeds so I transplanted them to a different planter to let them grow to see what they were. This was what I got.
suprise sunflowers

Then something else happened. As they started to grow I noticed one in particular was growing additional blooms as the base of every leaf. I dug back into the internet to try to find out why. It turns out there are thousands of varieties and I did not establish which one mine was. However I did find out that this one single plant with multiple blooms is most likely the effect of cross pollination. Awesome. So the bees, wasps, ladybugs and other garden visitors probably stopped down the street at my neighbor's multi bloom variety before stopping by my pad.

I have enjoyed just watching them grow. You can also click on any of the pictures to see them full size as I have them saved much lager than the size shown 

And my last little bit that tickles my dork side I am stealing from wiki-
The flower petals within the sunflower's cluster are usually in a a spiral pattern. Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; on a very large sunflower there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other.[1][2][3] This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head.[4][5][6]

math, I hate having to do it but it's results in nature are just awesome.
The head of mine has just started to grown but it should give you a good idea of the spirals they speak of and of course you can click on it to make it larger.

I can hardly wait to take more macro shots as it grows and much later harvest seeds.
What a fun surprise this has been.