These sun-facing beauties are probably the most famous "American" flowers around, drawing allusions to sun-like deities in cultures all over the world.Why We Love Them
Sunflowers were cultivated in North America as early as 3000 BCE, and they remain one of the most iconic northern hemisphere flowers on the market. Today, the cheerful, sunny blooms are synonymous with sunshine and smiles.Requirements
As the name suggests, sunflowers require a ton of sunshine-- ideally 6 to 8 hours a day. And they can grow up to 16 feet tall, so they require a lot of space!Ever Optimistic
"Heliotropism", the behavior by which flower buds and young blossoms will face East in the morning and follow the sun as the earth moves throughout the day, is just one of the sunflower's many idiosyncrasies.Sun Science
New studies suggest that sunflowers can help remove radiation from contaminated landscapes. After the nuclear disasters in Fukushima and Chernobyl, scientists planted fields of sunflowers to help absorb toxic metals.