These sunflowers continued to bloom for six weeks! The variety is “Ikarus”– it’s a dwarf variety, which means that it is shorter than most sunflowers. I’m not sure I totally believe that though– these plants are seven feet tall.
Sunflowers are in the largest flowering plant family, called Asteraceae, with 14,000 species worldwide!! Other plants in the family include lettuce, daisies, and thistles.
Thank you to Ms. Abby Logsdon for this incredible photo. This is ornamental millet, which is a grass that is sometimes cultivated for the grain (it’s yummy– kind of like quinoa, but richer). It’s hard to use millet in a bouquet because it’s so straight and tall, but it looks awesome with sunflowers.
Even this late in the season, seeds will grow! We planted calendula (a beautiful orange flower that has powerful medicinal properties) and Bachelor’s Buttons. The seeds are watered right away, so that they can germinate (start to grow) and become baby plants before the birds can eat the seeds, and before the seeds dry out.
There were huge sunflowers in the bed seen above until we pulled them out to plant fall flowers. The practice of planting two crops in one bed during the course of the season is called “double cropping.” Planting three crops is called “triple cropping.”
This bouquet has a Velvet Queen sunflower, cinnamon basil, and Sweet Annie. I love lush green bouquets with a pop of color!
Celosia is one of the weirder flowers I grow. The stems are vivid and slightly translucent. They are in the Amaranth family, which has many edible plants include amaranth, a grain that’s popular in some South American countries. This celosia might be edible too– I will experiment, and keep you posted!