As summer turns to fall, you are likely to see hundreds of towering sunflowers as you drive out into the countryside. These beautiful flowers can grow up to several feet tall, appearing for only one season before they become seeds.
Sunflowers are prized for their commercial and ornamental use, but did you know that these beautiful and prolific growers also carry deep symbolism? We tell you everything you need to know about the symbolism of sunflowers in this article.
What does the sunflower mean?
Sunflowers are frequently grown in gardens, and while you may only be familiar with a few varieties, the plant is part of a genus called Helianthus which actually comprises roughly 70 different species. Almost all are native to Central and North America.
“Sunflower” generally refers to the annual species, Helianthus annuus, so named because these round flower heads not only look like the sun, but they also turn towards the sun. The meaning of the plant’s scientific name is a bit less opaque, and the name comes from the Greek word helios, which means “sun” and “anthos” which means flower.
What do sunflowers symbolize?
If you’ve ever grown sunflowers, you probably already know how well these flowers can stimulate your spirit. The yellow petals are known as rays because they look like the rays of the sun. They are a favorite during the summer months, but they also carry deep symbolism.
Sunflowers are usually taken to symbolize loyalty, longevity, and worship. Most of this symbolic meaning comes from the plant’s namesake, the sun itself. Flowers are unique in that they can provide energy in the form of their vibrant colors and their seeds, a common food source for humans and other animals alike.
Sunflowers are happy flowers, so their cheerful symbolism cannot be overlooked.
It’s important to note that sunflowers can also be found in shades other than buttery yellow. In fact, there are red, orange, purple, and even black sunflowers that you can grow. Yet they all offer the viewer the same happy and complex symbolism.
What is the cultural significance of a sunflower?
Sunflowers were first cultivated in Central and North America around 1000 BC. C., as a food source. The popularity of the flower only spread as exploration of the New World continued, and the flower began to be cultivated for its beauty and ornamental value, in addition to its use as a cash crop.
The sunflower has also been prized in works of art for many centuries, and is often used as a religious symbol in native societies. It is photographed frequently and also appears as a motif in many ancient works. Sunflowers are flowers that are highly recognized by many cultures.
What is the symbolism of a sunflower tattoo?
Sunflowers are popular choices for tattoos, especially since they are so pretty to look at. Sunflowers, of course, represent the sun and have strong historical ties to ancient cultures. Sunflowers follow the sun with their heads opening to the sun as it rises.
Therefore, if you choose one of these tattoos, it will reflect longevity, warmth, growth and happiness, making it a tattoo that is not only meaningful, but also beautiful.
When should you give someone a sunflower?
Sunflower is a suitable option as a gift for many occasions. Most of the time, the sunflower is gifted to show a desire for longevity and happiness. This summer flower is perfect for any occasion, but is often given as a gift during the summer months, when flowering is in season.