Find out fascinating facts and interesting tidbits about cookies and the ingredients found in them in our series “Inside the Dough.” 

When you look at a sunflower, you can’t help but smile. There’s just something about those bright, larger-than-life flowers that really brighten up the day. That’s why every summer and fall, we love putting a sunflower spin on our famous buttercream frosted cookies, which are available in September as part of the Buttercream Frosted Cut-out Cookie of the Month Club!

In honor of one of our favorite vibrant blooms, here are some fun facts about sunflowers!

Did you know…

  • Sunflowers belong to the Helianthus genus. Helianthus is a combination of the Greek words – “helios,” meaning sun and “anthos,” meaning flower.
  • The sunflower has been cultivated for over 4,500 years!
  • While the sunflower is native to North America, its popularity as a cultivated crop began in Russia.
  • It is a very fast growing plant; in fact, it requires around only 100 days from planting to reach maturity.
  • Flower heads from young sunflower plants actually follow the movement of the sun during the day. This behavior is known as heliotropism.
  • In fact, the French word for sunflower is tournesol, which translates literally to “turn with the sun.”
  • Sunflower plants vary tremendously in size; they can be as small as 3 feet and as large as 18 feet in height.
  • One single sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds  that’s a whole lot of snacking!
  • There are more than 60 different kinds of sunflowers growing all over the world.
  • Not only are sunflowers the state flower of Kansas, but you can find 11 different varieties of sunflowers growing in this one state!
  • There are two different kinds of consumable sunflower seed  striped and black oil.
  • As of 2021, the tallest sunflower in the world belongs to Hans-Peter Schiffer from Germany. His wow-worthy bloom measures at 28 feet, 8.49 inches (8.75 m) high and was measured on August 27, 2013.
  • On the flip side, according to the 1996 Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest sunflower ever grown measured at only 2 1/5 inches at its mature stage that’s one petite plant!
  • Not only can you eat sunflower seeds, but you can even use them to make medicines, paints, and cooking oil.
  • Sunflowers are more than just plants they are art! In fact, famous painter Vincent Van Gogh was so inspired by this beautiful bloom that he did a whole series inspired by and featuring sunflowers.
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