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Inflorescence

January 30, 2010

Only a few sunflowers were grown in 2009, but those that grew were huge!  Each “flower” is actually a head inflorescence, composed of many small flowers.  The yellow pieces that compose the flat surface in the center of the sunflower are considered individual flowers, known as disk flowers.

What most people consider the “petals” of the sunflower, are actually called ray flowers and each petal represents an individual flower.   Each disk floret turns into one seed.  And if the head of the sunflower is ever missing any seeds (noticed by gaps or holes in the head) it indicates improper or incomplete pollination.  The seeds of these sunflowers were harvested and will be used this upcoming year.  Photos taken by Quentin Koopman.

sunflowers (courtesy of Q. Koopman)

sunflowers (courtesy of Q. Koopman)

sunflowers (courtesy of Q. Koopman)

sunflowers (courtesy of Q. Koopman)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2010 6:52 am

    Beautiful prose and great pictures!

  2. Saheb permalink
    February 3, 2010 8:01 pm

    Great photos! I can’t wait to grow more sunflowers! Actually, I can’t wait to grow flowers in general……

  3. March 2, 2010 5:43 pm

    Great explanation about the sunflower inflorescence. Keep up the good work! With seed starting and other activities starting this month, there should be a lot to write about . . .

  4. Kelly permalink
    March 3, 2010 11:04 pm

    Thanks! And as far as the seed starting goes, we’re starting that very very soon! Hopefully this week. We’ve been getting grow-lights and shelves ready to go…

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