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July Flower Spotlight: Sunflower

When you think of Summer, think of the sunflower!

Aptly named, the sunflower not only looks like a mini replica of the sun, but it is also¬†heliotropic. That means its buds and leaves follow the sun as it travels across the sky. Once a bud has fully bloomed, it no longer follows the sun and instead always faces East where the sun rises every morning. The sunflower is native to the Americas, but that hasn’t impacted its rich history and symbolism.

Sunflower History

Remember WhenThe sunflower was first discovered by Europeans when they discovered the Americas. Native Peruvians worshiped the sunflower as a symbol of the Incan sun god and their priestesses would wear clothing adorned with sunflower representations recreated in solid gold. Other Native American cultures worshiped the sunflower in their own ceremonies as well as used it as an important food source. Its seeds were supposed to represent strength and endurance and they would often place those seeds on graves of those who had recently died.

Once the sunflower made its way to Europe, the Greeks were quick to incorporate it into their own mythology. In modern retellings, the water nymph Clytie, who was said to be in love with the sun god Apollo, now is turned into a sunflower so that she could follow Apollo’s chariot across the sky each day. Orignially, the plant used was the turnsole, a plant used to make colorful dyes.

Sunflower Meaning

Pot O SunflowersThe sunflower is a gorgeous yellow flower with wide, broad petals and delicious seeds that are not only perfect for consumption as is, but are also a staple in modern vegetable oils. Its meanings include faith, loyalty and adoration stemming from the leaves following the sun across the sky. It can also mean happiness and optimism owing to its beautiful, bright bloom. Finally, it can also be given as a symbol of good luck, ambition and wealth.

These are available at most local florist shops upon request. But even if your florist is currently out of stock, they can replenish their supply in a matter of days. So if you are looking for the perfect flower to symbolize summer and months of fun in the sun, you’re looking for the sunflower!

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