The staple crop of the family ranch in California has long been canning tomatoes but to keep the soil from being depleted, other crops are rotated in on a regular basis, including wheat, lima beans, alfalfa and sunflowers.
The above example of Helianthus annuus was grown from seeds raised at the family ranch, but planted by yours truly in South Carolina.
It’s only about half the size of the sunflowers raised at the California reach, partly because I didn’t plant it until early July, and partly because the soil at my home has too much clay and isn’t nearly as good as that found in the Sacramento Valley.
Still, I figured I had a pretty good chance of getting plants to come up no matter the quality of the soil given that the sunflowers raised in California are grown for seed, to be sold and planted in Europe.
Note the bumblebee on the lower part of the flower. I’ve seen hundreds of sunflowers up close and most all, at least before they darken and die, will have a bumblebee or three on or around them. I can’t remember ever seeing a honeybee on or near a sunflower, however.