Well, we enjoyed him throughout the summer, but the sunflower giants have finished their life. Their goal, beside being beautiful, is to create seeds…that create more flowers…that create more seeds…that …well you know.
I find the evolution of the bloom itself amazing. It never stops growing. It can’t, for it has to get big enough to sustain the growth of the seeds. The bloom at the stage above is approximately 9 inches, not counting the beautiful yellow petals. But once the petals die and fall off, the flower center continues to gain in size as it produces the hundreds of seeds.
The much needed rain we had this past weekend did the giant in, as the stem could no longer support the bloom’s weight of over 4 pounds. The stalk had bent over from its weight over the last few weeks to nearly 180 degrees but the hardiness of the stalk refused to let the bloom fall. It fell over from the root ball and soft ground. I could not get my fingers completely around the stalk.
I had to take a machete to take it to get it to the trash pile but I put the bloom out for the birds to enjoy the seeds. Yes, I will pull some seeds for next years project…a sunflower circle, a fun thing we saw on FB. I still have 1 giant left and 1 multi-bloom that are still surviving. I was also amazed by the size of the leaves. They looked like elephant ears – over 18 inches across.
But the seeds were the most amazing how they are packed tighter than seeds in a grape.
Look at the little flowerets for the ends of the seeds.
For now is the time for season change. The sugar maples are beginning to change to show their red beauty with a sprinkling of yellow scattered through the leaves. As the season changes to a cooler climate, remember to keep your kindness warm.