Sunflower Essay

903 words - 4 pages

The Sunflower
The Helianthus Annus is classified as follows:
Common name- Sunflower, Garden flower, or common Sunflower
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helianthus
Species: Helianthus annuus
The Sunflower is my favorite flower. One of my reasons for choosing the sunflower was its striking beauty, from its long fuzzy stem to its beautiful golden petals that resemble the rays of the sun. Another reason why I selected the sunflower is because of the way sunflowers make me feel, and their ability to brighten up any room. I also chose the Sunflower because its seeds are the main ingredient in my favorite lotion. Also I love Sunflower seeds.
The name Helianthus Annus comes from the Greek word Helios, meaning “sun” and anthos, meaning “flower,” annus was from Linnaeus, it was the only sunflower known to him that lived for a single season, hence it was called annus for “annual” (Mitchell, 08). The sunflower is native to primarily North America. The sunflower grows in prairies and dry open areas. It grows best in sunny moist areas. The sunflower is tolerant of high and low temperatures, although more tolerant to low temperatures with the optimum temperature range being 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit (Mitchell, 08).
Helianthus A. is an annual plant, that can grow to be 4.6 m tall. It has large, rough and hairy leaves. A single sunflower is actually a flower head consisting of numerous flowers. Helianthus A. can grow to be about 20-30 cm in diameter. Flower heads consist of numerous densely arranged florets (Mitchell, 08). Sterile ray florets on the outer side vary in color- they can be yellow, red or orange. The disc florets inside the circular head produce seeds. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds (Mitchell, 08). The florets inside the sunflower's cluster are spirally arranged, which is a very efficient way of packing seeds within the flower head.
Sunflowers are quite useful. Sunflowers seeds provide oil which can be used as salad dressing or in cooking. It can also contribute to the manufacturing of margarine when hydrogenated (Mitchell, 08). Sunflowers contain nutrients such as Vitamin A and E, tannins, inulin, levulin, magnesium, selenium, B-1, B-5, phosphorous, tryptophan, copper, B-6, manganese, folate, fiber, iron and zinc, amino acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Borivoje, Vasilich, Poulet, Hata 2011). Sunflower seeds are considered to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and expectorant properties (Borivoje, Vasilich, Poulet, Hata 2011). They can help reduce the symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and help in cases of...

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