The genus Helianthus, to which the Sunflower belongs, contains about fifty species, chiefly natives of North America; many are indigenous to the Rocky Mountains, others to tropical America, and a few species are found in Peru and Chile.
These flowers get their name because people supposed they saw them rotating and following the sun all day.
The sunflower has many uses. First of all being their seeds, having a handful of them in your mouth and trying to figure out how to split them open and only spit the shell out is a right of passage early on in life. Sunflower oil is a popular vegetable oil known for its light color, mild flavor, low levels of saturated fats and ability to withstand high cooking temperatures. The oil can also be added to soap, lubricants and candles. And to top it all, Sunflower roots can remove radiation from soils and water! They were used to clean up the Chernobyl disaster.
These plants are useful and beautiful to boot!
If you ever get the hankering to be submerged in these beauties and are in Knoxville in July you have to check up the sunflower field in South Knox. Its a part of the Forks of the River WMA in the Knoxville Urban Wilderness and its heavenly!