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Sunflower
Asteraceae
Helianthus annuus


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb



Asteraceae Family

Helianthus Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Marigold of Peru. Corona Solis. Sola Indianus. Chrysanthemum Peruvianum.


Location

chiefly natives of North America; many are indigenous to the Rocky Mountains, others to tropical America, and a few species are found in Peru and Chile

Physical Description
It is an annual herb, with a rough, hairy stem, 3 to 12 feet high, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves, 3 to 12 inches long, and circular heads of flowers, 3 to 6 inches wide in wild specimens and often a foot or more in cultivation. The flower-heads are composed of many small tubular flowers arranged compactly on a flattish disk: those in the outer row have long strap-shaped corollas, forming the rays of the composite flower.


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Asteraceae
Asterales
Asterales
Star Order (Daisies)
Euasterids II
Euasterids II
Real Stars Group Two
Asteridae
Asteridae
Class of Stars (Daisies)
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

The Sunflower is valuable from an economic, as well as from an ornamental point of view. Every part of the plant may be utilized for some economic purpose. The leaves form a cattle-food and the stems contain a fiber which may be used successfully in making paper. The seed is rich in oil, which is said to approach more nearly to olive oil than any other vegetable oil known and to be largely used as a substitute. In prewar days, Sunflower seed was sometimes grown in this country, especially on sewage farms, as an economical crop for pheasants, as well as poultry. The flowers contain a yellow dye.

One of the many effects of World War II in its relation to agriculture was the increase in the use of the Sunflower.

It forms one of the well-known crops in Russia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, India, Manchuria and Japan. The average acre will produce about 50 bushels of merchantable seeds, and each bushel yields approximately 1 gallon of oil, for which there is a whole series of important uses.

The oil is produced mainly in Russia, but to an increasing extent also in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland. In 1913 some 180,000 tons of oil were produced, practically all of which was consumed locally.

The oil pressed from the seeds is of a citron yellow color and a sweet taste and is considered equal to olive oil or almond oil for table use. The resulting oil-cake when warm pressed, yields a less valuable oil which is used largely for technical purposes, such as soap-making, candle-making and in the art of wool-dressing. As a drying oil for mixing paint, it is equal to linseed oil and is unrivalled as a lubricant.

Medicinal Uses: The seeds have diuretic and expectorant properties and have been employed with success in the treatment of bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, coughs and colds, also in whooping cough.

The following preparation is recommended: Boil 2 OZ. of the seeds in 1 quart of water, down to 12 OZ. and then strain. Add 6 OZ. of good Holland gin and 6 OZ. of sugar. Give in doses of 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls, three or four times a day.

The oil possesses similar properties and may be given in doses of 10 to 15 drops or more, two or three times a day.

A tincture of the flowers and leaves has been recommended in combination with balsamics in the treatment of bronchiectasis.

The seeds, if browned in the oven and then made into an infusion are admirable for the relief of whooping cough.

Tincture of Helianthus has been used in Russia. Kazatchkoft says that in the Caucasus the inhabitants employ the Sunflower in malarial fever. The leaves are spread upon a bed covered with a cloth, moistened with warm milk and then the patient is wrapped up in it. Perspiration is produced and this process is repeated every day until the fever has ceased.

A tincture prepared from the seed with rectified spirit of wine is useful for intermittent fevers and ague, instead of quinine. It has been employed thus in Turkey and Persia, where quinine and arsenic have failed, being free from any of the inconveniences which often arise from giving large quantities of the other drugs.

The leaves are utilized in herb tobaccos.

Food Uses: Roasted in the same manner as coffee, they make an agreeable drink, and the seeds have been used in Portugal and Russia to make a wholesome and nutritious bread. Seeds roasted and eaten shell less

Other Uses: The residue after the oil is expressed forms an important cattle-food. This oil-cake is relished by sheep, pigs, pigeons, rabbits and poultry.

The seed makes excellent chicken-food and feeding fowls on bruised Sunflower seeds is well known to increase their laying power. Sunflower seeds have a high feeding value - the analysis in round figures is 16 per cent albumen and 21 per cent fat.

Other Notes: In Peru, this flower was much reverenced by the Aztecs, and in their temples of the Sun, the priestesses were crowned with Sunflowers and carried them in their hands. The early Spanish conquerors found in these temples numerous representations of the Sunflower wrought in pure gold.

Clytie, a waternymph, was in love with Apollo, but meeting no return, she died and was changed into a sunflower, which still turns to the sun through its daily course.

The sunflower turns on the god, when lie sets,

The same look which she turned when he rose.

The sunflower is the state flower of the US state of Kansas, and one of the city flowers of Kitakyushu, Japan.

The sunflower is often used as a symbol of green ideology, much as the red rose is a symbol of socialism or social democracy. The sunflower is also the symbol of the Vegan Society.





Sunflower




Sunflower


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