What you know of sunflower?
there was an autumn serene day. Unusually brightly for this time the sun shone, and this fact promoted good mood though on the street it was already cool, and there was no wish to leave a warm bed at all. Incidentally the eye was fixed by Van Gogh`s reproduction Sunflowers hanging opposite on a wall, and at heart it became somehow warmer. The mood improved at once. For this purpose there was enough even one small bright reproduction of a beautiful plant, so similar to the small sun. And what feelings cover the person when he sees the whole field covered with these light-yellow flowers?!
The homeland of sunflower is North America. This friendly plant became very popular in the world, at first thanks to the unique beauty.
According to scientists, sunflower, or a sunflower as often still we call it, very ancient plant. Once it was grown up still by aboriginals of the New World - Indians. Later, at the beginning of the 16th century, the Spanish travelers delivered it to Western Europe.
In Europe at that time the sunflower began to be parted only as an ornamental plant in private parks. And only in the middle of the XVIII century Europeans began to eat sunflower seeds which were considered as a delicacy. And from leaves and flowers made tea which calmed fever. In 1716 one Englishman began to receive sunflower oil which was used by weavers and tanners from seeds.
Other Europeans up to 1800 - x years almost did not know this plant. However, in 1698 the Russian tsar - the reformer Peter the Great brought this plant from the Netherlands. But also in Russia the sunflower at first got divorced the same as a beautiful flower. And only since 1830 the sunflower began to be grown up as a commercial plant for oil production. Then near the city of Voronezh made thousands of tons of sunflower oil.
Then an exotic plant began to grow up for production of oil and in the neighboring European countries: Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Ukraine. Subsequently, at the end of the XIX century, emigrants from Russia who in search of the best destiny occupied the earth of North America returned a sunflower on its homeland where by then already almost forgot about it. Forgot because the first North American settlers did not adopt tradition to grow up sunflowers from local Indians.
Now sunflower plantations and fields can be seen in different corners of the world. It is interesting that leaves, and flowers of this plant geliotropny, that is they are curved in the direction to the sun. In a stalk of a sunflower phytohormone - auxin which regulates growth of a plant collects. Increase in auxin in that part of a stalk which is not lit with the sun forces a sunflower to reach for light. But when the plant grows, loses geliotropny properties and remains turned generally on the East (Encyclopedic dictionary).
Not ēģ anthus annuus - such is the Latin name of this surprising plant. The name comes from the Greek words that mean sun flower and from the Latin word one-year . Usually the sunflower reaches in height no more than 2 meters, but also huge types which can be twice higher meet.
The top reminds a big crown - where there are small tubular florets. After entomophily these florets turn subsequently into sunflower seeds which can be eaten. These flower baskets with seeds can have from 5 to 50 centimeters a diameter and give from 100 to 8000 seeds.
In the world there are tens of types of sunflowers, and scientists continue to work on removal of new grades. But in agriculture only two look are mainly used. One of them, sunflower one-year (Not ēģ anthus annuus), grow up generally for receiving oil.
The second, the sunflower (Not ēģ anthus tuberosus), is better known as an earth pear or a girasol. Its peculiar fruits, tubers, - a valuable forage for cattle and raw materials for receiving sugar, alcohol and even insulin. Now in many countries of the world sunflowers grow up generally for the sake of seeds from which then produce oil for culinary requirements.
Seeds of sunflower are very nutritious, one kernel contains from 18 to 22 percent of proteins and other useful substances. Many people like to nibble sunflower sunflower seeds, especially in villages where life quieter and is more time for this small pleasure. Sunflower seeds slightly roast, sometimes before frying salt. And still seeds of a sunflower use for feeding of birdies and different little animals. From seeds also make flour which is used as an additive to pastries.
Besides, sunflower oil is often used for preparation of cosmetics. It is a part of lipsticks, shampoos, hand creams, body lotions and hygienic means for babies. In the last times it is even used at production of engine oils.
Sunflower fields are paradise for bees because the sunflower is one of the best melliferous plants. From one hectare of sunflowers of a bee about 50 kilograms of honey are capable to collect. It is also possible to make paper of sunflower stalks, they contain from 43 to 48 percent of cellulose. The remains go on a silo for cattle or on fertilizer.
Undoubtedly, sunflowers are a fine gift of the nature. Beauty of this plant inspired many artists and poets on creation of masterpieces.
How not to remember once again one of the most expensive pictures in the world, Vincent Van Gogh`s picture Sunflowers ?
And everywhere wherever this magic and useful flower grew, it will always remind us the small sun, giving us pleasure and beauty.