Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Sunflowers

The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh painted two series of still life paintings of sunflowers, in Paris in 1887 and in Arles in 1888.
I can't look at sunflowers without thinking of his paintings.

Sunflowers are such amazing creations.
Each giant flower head is made up of numerous tiny flowers crowded together, and these will eventually mature into the sunflower seeds. These little flowers are arranged in a mathematical spiral pattern, each oriented toward the next by approximately 137.5°. This produces a pattern of interconnecting spirals with 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other, the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head.

Sunflowers love the sun. And they're clever too.
When the sun comes up, the faces of most sunflowers are turned towards the east. Over the course of the day, the cheerful faces follow the sun from east to west, then at night they return to face the east, waiting for the sunrise.

And on top of all that, they're gorgeous.

19 comments:

~Sheila~ said...

Aren't they beautiful!
Last time I grew them, they had stems like tree trunks and it took me ages to get them out!
Worth it though.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Lovely post. Sunflower blossoms do follow the sun, the original sun worshippers, I bet.

Charles Bjørnsen Ravndal said...

I so agree. They're just beautiful and one summertime I manage to see those lovely flowers on my way back home. I can't help but I just admire them.

Charles Bjørnsen Ravndal said...

I so agree. They're just beautiful and one summertime I manage to see those lovely flowers on my way back home. I can't help but I just admire them.

Beverly said...

Yes, indeed, they are beautiful. I love to see them growing. A few years ago, I was in New York state, and I saw acres of them. I was in awe.

madretz said...

add me to the list of sunflower lovers. they are so cheerful!

Peter said...

Being a frequent visitor to Arles, I feel especially attached to van Gogh and the sunflowers.

I was surprised this summer to see some of them turn in the wrong direction! Was the sun too bright?

Suldog said...

I love sunflowers. They amazed me, when I was a kid, the first time I saw some. I couldn't believe that flowers could be so huge!

Middle Ditch said...

I too love to see them and when the children were little we grew loads of them. I once saw a whole field of them, for sunflower oil I think, and it was just amazing.

photowannabe said...

The intricacies of the flower is quite amazing. I wonder who had the time to count those spirals going in different directions? I love them and they make me feel happy.

Craver Vii said...

They're perfect for photos, too!

rosemary said...

I had 10 beautiful sunflowers this year. The deer have left them alone for the first time.

Wendy said...

They're beautiful! Nice pics. And I didn't know all that info about sunflowers! Thanks for enlightening me.

Xtreme English said...

great photo! my favorite thing about sunflowers is how the birds cling to the heads to pick out the seeds when they're ripe.

lettuce said...

ah, lovely

I have some sunflowers in a vase in the lounge - they last forever!

Hilary said...

I couldn't agree more. I love sunflowers. They make me think of my Dad who always planted some.. wherever we spent significant periods of time over the summers.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I grew some Sun Flowers one year...Many Many MANY years ago and they got HUGE! I was surprised that they got that big! They sure were beautiful though....Nature is True Perfection!

Ginnie said...

My niece used sunflowers for her main wedding flower at the Farm Wedding in Michigan on August 1, Sham. They had sunflowers coming out the yin-yang. I love how they follow the sun like that!

Vagabonde said...

About a month ago I took some pictures of a field of sunflowers at the Biltmore gardens in North Carolina. It was late in the afternoon and I had a hard time because they were not facing the right way – now I understand why. I did not know they made this dance around the sun, thanks for the explanation.