We love sunflowers! Best sunflower photos and sunflower facts

by Jun 29, 2021California

Yolo Sunflower Photo Gallery

Everyone loves sunflowers. Sunflowers symbolize loyalty and adoration in the Western world. In China, they symbolize long life and good fortune. To Native Americans the sunflower represents harvest and bounty. Enjoy a gallery of our best sunflower photos and fun sunflower facts.

We love sunflowers! Who wouldn’t fall in love with such a bright and cheerful flower that mirrors the bright yellow orb of the sun? Exactly. We’ve yet to see a frown on the face of anyone looking at sunflowers — whether in a field, in a painting (thank you, Van Gogh) or in a vase on a kitchen table.

Sunflowers come in numerous varieties, some tall, some relatively short, some with yellow petals, others with red, orange, and purple hues. Standing at the edge of fields of sunflowers stretching endlessly toward the horizon, it is impossible not to feel happy.

But sunflowers are much more than just a fantastic photo opportunity! The sunflower’s genus, Helianthus, has its roots in the Greek language. If you remember your Greek and Latin derivatives class from high school, “helios” is the word for sun and “Anthos” is the word for flower. Voila, sunflowers! In fact, there is an ancient Greek myth of unrequited love that describes Clytie, a nymph, who loved Apollo. Apollo instead fell in love with Leucothoe. When Clytie told Leucothoe’s father in a fit of jealousy that Apollo loved her, the father buried Clytie alive. Apollo learned of this and turned Clytie into a flower, and, in that form, she would spend her days watching him as he moved across the sky in his chariot … much like young sunflowers turn their flower heads to follow the sun.

QUOTE: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.” Hellen Keller.

Throughout history, sunflowers have inspired artists – not just Van Gogh, of course — and writers, alike, and the flowers have been used symbolically as gifts and in ceremonies.

Enjoy our collection of some of our best sunflower photos (well, at least our favorites) from a mid-June visit to Yolo County in California (BIG thanks to Turkovich Family Wines for giving us such wonderful access to its sunflower fields). In addition, we’ve assembled a collection of fun sunflower facts to go with the photos. Enjoy learning as you scroll through the photos. You can click on any photo to make it larger. We hope you love sunflowers as much as we do, and that our sunflower photos will bring you joy.

Rows of sunflowers paint the landscape yellow

Yolo County Sunflowers At Blue Hour

Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, mature sunflowers do not track the sun with their flower heads (that process is called “heliotropism.” Here is a field just after the sun set behind it. Notice they are all still facing east.

Yolo Sunflower Fields Golden Sunrise

Fun fact: Sunflowers have always been a very inspirational plant. Van Gogh, for example, has an entire series of sunflower paintings.  Such a simple flower but such a happy one. 

Turkovich Sunflower Fields Sunsise Mountains

Fun fact: Sunflowers commonly grow as tall as 9-12 feet in just 5-6 months! Practical of course since that allows them over the sunny season to be planted, grown, and be harvested.

Sunflowers ready for their closeup

Sunflower Closeup At Sunrise Yolo County

Fun fact: In 1983, a sunflower was grown in British Columbia that was a whopping 32 inches across! Part of sunflowers’ glamour is their size, but that’s bigger than your average Helianthus. 

Sunflower Photography Tips Get Low 1

Fun fact: All those gorgeous sunflowers grown in Yolo County (and California, in fact) are harvested for their seeds! The seeds then end up all over the world where they are planted and then grown to make oil.

Sunflower Photo Yolo County With Bee

Fun fact: Although lots of bees are ideal for sunflowers to pollinate, if there aren’t enough, those clever flowers know how to become self-pollinators, ensuring their survival.

Best Sunflower Fields Closeup With Bees 1

Fun fact: History indicates that the Aztecs actually worshipped the sunflower, believing them to be the incarnation of their god. We worship them too — because they are so beautiful and cheery.

Turkovich Sunflower Fields Sunsise Dr Whoo Tiny Wilbur

Fun fact: It may be tempting to stand among those tall sunflowers, but they are a farmer’s livelihood. Unless you have permission, stay at the field’s edge so you don’t break any plants. Tiny Wilbur and Dr Whoo had permission of course and were very careful, not to mention they are really small.

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Bees And Sunflowers Best Photo Yolo

Fun fact: The middle of the sunflower actually consists of many more itty-bitty flowers, and each flower can have as many as 2,000 seeds.

Hot air balloons over the sunflowers

Turkovich Sunflower Fields Sunsise Balloon

Fun fact: California produces 95% of the seed exported and Yolo County accounts for nearly half that. With such a short blooming season (about mid-June to mid-July), a hot air ballon ride over the swaths of yellow fields can be a highlight.

Sunflower Fields Photo Gallery Balloon

Fun fact: There are more than 70 different types of sunflowers, including dwarfs for indoor planting. The main type of seed used for snacks and in animal feed is gray, while striped seeds (called “black”) are richer in oil.

Best Sunflower Photos Balloon

Fun fact: Sunflower oil is a great source of vitamins A and D; however, not much sunflower oil is used in the United States. Which is why so much of the seed grown here goes to Eastern European and South American countries. 

Getting the perfect sunflower photo

Therese Michael Selfie Sunflower Field Turkovich

Fun fact: People can be a little whacky (not us, well not here). In 2015 in Germany, nearly 750 members of a club dressed up as sunflowers. Not sure if that was a world record  for the largest number of people dressed as sunflowers — if that category exists. We stuck to regular clothes and big smiles for our sunflower selfie.

Therese Iknoian Red Jacket Ladder Sunflowers

Fun fact: Sunflowers are native to North America and were used by Native Americans, but they were first commercialized in Russia. Wide interest in North America for commercial sunflower growing didn’t pickup until about the ’70s.

Silhouettes Sunflower Photo On Truckbed 1

Fun fact: We hear the entire sunflower plant is actually edible. Really? In the next breath, we hear the plants naturally soak up contaminates in the soil. You know, like uranium or lead. Think we’ll stick with photos.

Photos In A Field Of Sunflowers Therese Iknoian

Fun fact: Sunflowers aren’t all yellow! Yup, although that cheery yellow makes you smile, we wouldn’t turn down a red or purple one.

Starbursts and sunflowers

Sunflower Field Photos Starburst

Fun fact: A fear of sunflowers is called “helianthophobia” and could stem from that large darker center “disc” that looks like a vortex that will suck you in, creating dread and foreboding. No worries if you look at the back of the flower?

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