Mongolian Giant Sunflower

Nothing much to say about the Mongolian Giant Sunflower other than, “wow”. I got these seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and they have lived up to the “giant” in the name. I’m going to have to climb a ladder to harvest the seeds.

Though I don’t see the need to get competitive with my sunflowers, Renee’s Garden has some good harvesting advice,

As the petals fall off, the center florets dry up and the seed kernels begin to swell in the disks, carefully climb a stepladder and cover your flower head with a mesh onion bag or loose burlap or paper bag. This keeps marauding birds from robbing your seeds so that the heads look perfect and complete when you are ready to show them off to friends or proudly display them on their long stalks at your local county fair. Cut the stalks at the base when the ripened seeds develop a hard shell. If you plan to eat your sunflower seeds or preserve them for your bird feeder, wait until the seeds are completely dry; then remove them by hand or by rubbing them over wire mesh into a basket. Store in tightly closed containers to keep rodents away.

In addition to the native sunflowers that reseed themselves every year I think I’ll plant a few Mongolian Giants each summer. If you’ve got a favorite sunflower variety, either ornamental or edible, please leave a comment.

Mrs. Homestead here: Turns out sunflowers can also help clean up radioactive contamination. Good to know! They’re planting them in Fukushima. (via Boing Boing)

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  1. Wow, we could really win at the county fair with that! Last year we took grand champion with a sunflower that grew from seeds we threw for the chickens to eat the previous fall.

  2. that IS a giant sunflower! i like teddy bear sunflowers. and i love mexican sunflowers. but they are a whole different kind of sunflower.

    that is really interesting about the radioactive contamination. how wonderful!

  3. Sunzilla’s from Renee’s Garden. they are also said to absorb lead from the soil, storing it in the stalks and not in the seeds.

  4. I’ve had trouble with squirrels eating the sunflower heads and chewing the stems off before the flowers have a chance to develop fully. They jump from my fence to the stalk. In my opinion, they are one of the best flowers of summer, so I was disappointed to see this happen. Yes, quite interesting about the contamination. I am going to plant a few more times and see if I can outfox the squirrels somehow. Nothing like seeing a beautiful sunflower against the blue sky in summer.

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