Have you seen the sunflowers in the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden this month? Let’s take a closer look to see what’s going on.
Many of the blossoms have lost their yellow petals and are bending down.
We need to take a closer look.
Just a little closer …
Now you can see that one sunflower is actually made of hundreds of very small flowers. Notice the tiny, yellow, pointed petals of the individual flowers. Each blossom produces one seed. You can see the seeds where they have matured at the top edge of this sunflower. Can you find the spot where one seed is missing? Perhaps it fell out or was eaten by bird.
Sunflowers are what we call “composite” flowers, so named because they are composed of many florets growing so close together they appear to be one flower. If you look carefully at the arrangement of the flowers and seeds, you might notice a spiral pattern.
Other composite flowers you may know are daisies, dandelions, and mums. There are many composite flowers blooming at the Chicago Botanic Garden right now. Come for a visit to check it out, and bring your favorite magnifier so you can take a closer look at the real thing.
Visit chicagobotanic.org/learningcampus/growinggarden for more information on the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden.