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Behind the Bloom: Sunflowers

Behind the Bloom: Sunflowers

| Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

I’m writing this post on the day before my wedding. How appropriate to write about the happiest of flowers, Helianthus annuus, the sunflower.

I am indeed in a very happy mood today!

Sunflowers have grown on me over the years. As a florist, they pose challenges, due to the weight of their heads and thickness of their stems. But the effort is well worth it!

I love using the less common colours and varieties. Sunflowers do come in darker hues of deep reds and purples, and in lighter yellow-whites. Bouquets have a much moodier feel with varieties like Chocolate and Moulin Rouge. And then there's everyone's favourite, the Teddy Bear, with fluffy yellow petals. Teddies amp up the cheer and are playful as all get out!

There are a few incredible facts about sunflowers. Did you know they save lives, for instance? After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster sunflowers helped with the clean up. Fields of the plants helped absorb toxic metals and radiation from soil. The roots of sunflowers can remove up to 95% of radioactivity by drawing out contaminants. Simply amazing!

Sunflowers saved lives in earlier times as well. As their stems are extremely buoyant, they worked as a flotation filing for life vests, before more modern materials were created.

Named after the brightest star in our universe, the sunflower can protect us from harmful contaminants, buoy us up, and bring good cheer! If you happen to need a pick-me-up, this is the time to grab a bunch and bask in their loveliness.

• Rosie, owner Quince Flowers

Botanical Blog

Written By: Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

A collection of blog posts written by one of Toronto's top florists. With two on-going blog series, the first about flowers called Behind The Bloom & the second about plants called Plant Life.