Why Are Some Sunflowers Dark at the Center?

Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) Are a well-known garden annual because of the distinctive bright blooms produced. There are numerous varieties of sunflowers and consequently a selection of visual features and uses for these crops. Through plant breeding, more varieties of sunflowers have been created, further changing the appearance of this genus.

Sunflower Background

Sunflowers are an easy-to-identify plant because of the brilliant colour displayed in the blossoms and the often-towering increase of the stalks. The edible seeds attract wildlife and can make a tasty snack for people as well. Another appeal of the plants is that they’re drought-tolerant and have relatively few pests that will inhibit their development. Taller varieties might need support since the stalks rise because the flower head can become quite heavy and induce the stalk to break. Plant breeding has caused dwarf sunflower varieties and a selection of flower colors available.

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

Each sunflower is in fact made up of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of very tiny flowers. The outer ring — that is commonly known as “petals” is usually yellow or orange in colour — is medically known as ray flowers. Each one of these individual petal-like structures is a flower. Within the middle of the sunflower are more individual flowers called disc flowers. Once pollination has happened these disc flowers will produce seeds, a procedure that makes the middle of the sunflower head look slimmer.

Bloom Type

Some sunflower varieties show a dual bloom that results in a flower head that’s fluffier. These varieties of double-blooming sunflowers have a center that matches the yellow outer band of blossoms: “Teddy Bear,” “Lion’s Mane” and “Tohoku Yae.” Single-bloom sunflowers have a tendency to have a more smooth center that’s darker in colour than the outer band of flowers. 1 case of a single-bloom variety is “Sunbright.” Other varieties of single-bloom sunflowers, however, have a light colored center, such as “Sunbeam.”

Varietal Differences

Numerous varieties of sunflowers exist, and the visual features will vary from 1 variety to the next. Sunflowers range in color from shades of red, orange, and yellow and can consist of hints of green and brown as well. There are even some varieties that have striped blossoms. Whether a sunflower has a dark center is extremely determined by the plant variety. When purchasing seeds to grow sunflowers, the colour information, for example, middle shade, should be comprehensive on the tag or can be found through internet resources.

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