My nephew planted this sunflower. He’s a bit disappointed when it bloomed and showed that it’s just small, consisting of single layer petals. There are over 60 varieties of sunflower around the world, and I guess he thought he excitedly planted the big multi-layered variety.
The sunflower looks like one huge flower, but I learned that a single sunflower head hosts hundreds of tiny flowers called florets. Some variety could grow as tall as 10 feet with a few leaves growing from it. On top of its’ stem is what seems to be a single enormous flower with yellow petals and a brown centre. But this flower is actually known as the head of the sunflower, and is not a flower at all, but rather a bunch of them. The yellow petals are actually protective leaves that cover the centre of the head while it is growing and considered as an individual ray flowers, which do not develop into seeds. The brown centre of the sunflower is composed of a mass of hundreds of flowers, all growing individually, and from where each sunflower seed will originate.
A couple of days after I photographed this sunflower, a typhoon passed our area and wrecked the plant together with our other plants and trees. And I don’t think my nephew will plant some more.