Wild Indigenous Sunflowers of Kansas
Sunflowers fill the
roadside of Kansas as they make their presence known when they bloom
late in July and have its full bloom in the month of September.
Helianthus annuus are wild indigenous sunflowers of Kansas and it is the
state flower of the region as well. These flowers usually grow in fields
and along the roads of the Great Plains. Goldenrods like the sunflower
are also indigenous flowers Kansas.
With the abundance of wild native sunflower in the state of Kansas, it
was adopted and declared as the official flower of the state of Kansas
during the year 1903. The sunflower remains standing proud as it gives
glory to its home state.
Summers in Kansas are hot and dry, but these sunflowers grow very well
on this particular climate. They grow from 3 up to ten feet tall,
usually with one or more flower heads. This plant produces showy yellow
flowers, recognized all over the world. Sunflowers are not mistaken for
any other flower because its features surely relates to its name.
A sunflower head is consisted of a small disk with tubular flowers that
are surrounded by large fringed petals of bright yellow colors. One
single head of a sunflower may measure up to 30 centimeters or more in
diameter. This one single head can produce seeds of up to a thousand.
Sunflower heads are known to search and face the sunlight all through
out the day.
Wild birds feast on sunflower seeds, chickens too. Bees are also known
to get nectar from sunflowers. Sometimes, dried stalks of sunflowers are
used to create fires.
Seeds collected from sunflowers are very rich in protein. High-quality
oils are yielded from these seeds, vegetable oil that is used to make
cooking oil and margarine. Sunflower oil is considered third as the
world’s most important vegetable oil. Special varieties of oilseed can
contain as much as 50% oil and those are small black seeds.
Other varieties of sunflower seeds are striped and larger in size. Some
of these are roasted and coated with chocolate as snack food, while some
are made into birdseed and blended with other seeds or grains. Sunflower
oil, in today’s world is also used as diesel fuel’s replacement.
Because of the many wild and indigenous sunflowers that grow in Kansas,
it is dubbed as the Sunflower State of America. For the dry climate of
the Great Plains, sunflower makes a very excellent summer crop.
Sunflowers have extensive roots that aid them through the summer’s arid
For several years now, the growth of sunflower commercial production had
rapidly increased. More and more farmers are interested how to produce
these sunflowers. New methods are learned on how to get these flowers
into mass production. Currently, the state of Kansas holds 250,000 acres
of sunflower fields.
Sunflowers are beautiful, strong and vibrant, features that made this
flower known worldwide. But the purpose of these flowers extends to
being one important source of our food supply. It is one of the top
choices of crops not only in Kansas but in other areas of the northern
plain regions like Texas and the Dakotas.