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  • Betty Girardeau

The Happy Flower


What's not to like about the sunflower? They are bright, cheery, warm and inviting. And they live up to their name. While they are now grown all over the world, they are actually native to the Americas, originating, it is believed, about 1000B.C. Not only enjoyed for their beauty, sunflowers are a source for cooking oil and skin emollients as well as their nutritious seeds, enjoyed by people and birds alike. Another interesting characteristic of these plants is their behavior while blooming. Not only do they look a lot like the sun, but their flower heads follow the sun as well, a plant orientation called positive phototropism. Two summers ago I was in France at the height of the sunflower season. Driving through the countryside you could see fields of sunflowers going as far as the eye could see. It was a beautiful sight, thousands of tall yellow flowers standing at attention and "following" their leader, the sun. Sunflowers have a starring role in the Yellow second movement of my music video, too. And this summer I plan to plant some again in my back yard. The seed packet is already out, and I am just waiting for a few more sunny and warm days to plant them.

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