Interesting Facts About Sunflower Plants

Kids will love learning these interesting facts about sunflower plants. Grab the free printable and make it a learning lesson about sunflowers!

Those beautiful bright yellow flowers are enough to brighten your day. At our old house, we had a fence lined with yellow sunflowers that bloomed and we loved watching them grow.

These interesting sunflower facts are perfect for the upcoming summer. Get the kids outside and enjoy nature as they learn more about these beautiful blooms.

Fun Facts About Sunflowers

Fun Facts About Sunflowers

Interesting Facts About Sunflower Plants

Sunflowers (also known as helianthus annuus) are native to North America and are one of the easiest plants to grow so you’ll often find fields of sunflowers around the countryside.

There’s nothing like looking out into the distance and seeing a bright and colorful sunflower field.

1. Sunflowers aren’t just yellow

That’s right! Those beautiful sunflowers aren’t just yellow, there are other varieties of sunflowers with bright blooms of color. For instance, you have red sunflowers, purple sunflowers, orange sunflowers, red sunflowers, and more.

Red Sunflower

2. There are many different species of sunflowers

There are over 60 different species of sunflowers and they come in a variety of different shapes, colors, and sizes.

There are also dwarf varieties. Dwarf sunflowers are one of our favorites. They are smaller than others and often only grow to 2 or 3 feet tall. These were great for growing when the kids were young and looked great on our front porch.

3. Sunflower oil is made from sunflower seeds

Sunflower Oil

You can extract the oil from the sunflower seeds and use it for cooking. Sunflower oils contain a good amount of vitamin E, phytosterols, and linoleic acid.

4. Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack

There are a lot of benefits of sunflower seeds and they make a tasty snack to enjoy. Benefits include promoting a healthy heart, helping fight inflammation, preventing muscle cramps, and more.

5. The tallest sunflower measured in at 30′ 1″

In 2016, Hans-Peter Schiffer from Germany set a world record for growing the tallest sunflower. It measured 30′ 1″. That’s pretty tall!

Each year many try to beat the Guinness world records and try to grow the best and tallest sunflowers.

6. Vincent van Gogh is well known for painting sunflowers

Sunflower Painting

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists and some of his most popular paintings were of sunflowers because of their special significance. He also thought they represented gratitude.

Vincent painted 5 sunflower paintings that he did and are treasured today by many. You can see a few of them on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

7. Sunflowers are easy to grow

Those big beautiful sunflowers with bright yellow petals are pretty easy to grow and there isn’t a lot that you need to do to care for them. Just plant the seeds in a sunny area of the yard, water, and let them grow.

8. Deer love to eat sunflower plants

Deer and other critters love munching on young sunflowers. In addition to deer, honey bees love sunflowers too. Pollinating them helps boost the bee’s immune system. Bees also use the sunflower’s head to sleep on.

Learn more about the Honey Bee!

Hone Bee Life Cycle Activity

Grab this free honey bee life cycle activity to go along with learning more about sunflowers.

It’s a free printable that kids will love putting together!

9. Sunflowers were commonly used by Native Americans

Sunflower seeds were often ground into flour to make bread, eaten as a snack, or mixed in with other foods by many tribes.

In addition to cooking, the individual flowers were often used to make dyes for clothing and medicinal purposes by Native American tribes. The history of the sunflower is quite interesting.

10. Kansas is known as the “Sunflower State”

Kansas Sunflower

The state of Kansas is known as the sunflower state because of how easily sunflower plants grow due to the weather Kansas has. It got the official title in 1903 when the state recognized it as the official state flora.

11. North Dakota is one of the top sunflower producers

Kansas may be the “sunflower state” but North Dakota is actually the largest producer of the bright vibrant flowers. The beautiful flowers are used to make sunflower seed butter, bird feed, oils, and more.

12. The French word for sunflower is tournesol 

Pronounced: toor-nuh-SOHL. The word comes from tourne which means turns and sol which means sun.

13. There are 5 parts of a sunflower

  • roots
  • seed
  • stem
  • leaves
  • the head of the sunflower (tiny flowers make up the sunflower heads)

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about sunflower plants.

Interesting Facts About Sunflower Plants

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