Mystery Sunflower

I am enjoying the summer gardening in the city.  Still I am looking forward to the doctor appointment that is coming up.   I will find out if I get a thumbs up and can get back to work on THO.  I really want to get the wood stove in while the weather will allow for a hole in the wall!

The nice thing about gardening in the city is that there is not a lot of competition with the wildlife here.  So what I grow, I get to keep.  This said, our neighbourhood skunks tipped over two of my huge tomatoes the other night and did a little damage to them.  I have tied them up now and hope this does the trick.  These skunks are cute, but they are little stinkers!

Look at the buds on the sucker!

Look at the buds on the sucker!

Why I write today is because there is a large mystery sunflower in my driveway here in Hamilton.  It came up, I assume, from birdseed, because I never planted any sunflowers.  It is growing in the crack between the paved driveway and the cement border of my flower bed.  That is is growing here where there is no soil and only a tiny crack is really only part of the mystery.

Look up!

Look up!

The thing that I don’t know is what variety it is.  The plant is the showiest sunflower.  It is budding out and then flowering everywhere.  The plant is HUGE!  Eight feet high and three feet wide.  It is not just single giant flower rather there are about forty, YES 40(!!!) flowers on the single stem.  You see, there are suckers coming out on every leaf and these suckers have between one and six buds/flowers on them.

Sunny single sunflower with lots of flowers

Sunny single sunflower with lots of flowers

The flowers just started opening a few days ago so it is not yet at its full potential but I wanted to share the photos of it from now, because it is just so beautiful that I couldn’t wait!  The seeds are not filled in so they flowers are at the smallest point but I think that each of the flowers will wind up being about 6 to 18 inches across when it is fully developed.

I will try at the end of the year to collect the seeds but I know full well that seeds are not true to the parent but a mixture of them and who is cross pollinated with them.

Does anyone know what variety they are, because I certainly would like to grow these beauties again and again.  They are, living art.



UPDATE: According to the National Sunflower Association the sunflower association cultivated sunflowers have only one head but wild ones can have more.  The world record for the most sunflowers on a single stalk is 837 heads.

Clearly this is a wild cultivar and this makes me happy, because I am not a fan of mono cultivation.  Those of you who want seeds please leave a comment below and when I harvest them I will mail some to you.  If I get a lot of requests I will have to ask for you to pay-pal me postage.


Categories: Art, Ontario, Simple living | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Mystery Sunflower

  1. i live in Ottawa, not too far away from you, and have enjoyed reading from someone living this way in Ontario.. Canada… I would love to plant some of your sunflower seed offerings, my mothers favourite and it would be my family reminder plant of my parents that have passed on.. keep the memories going. thanks Karen

  2. Pierre Gravel

    I’m a french canadian friend of Québec province and I not write english very well. I apologize. ”Holiday” is your sunflower variety. It reaches 6-7 feet but often some reaching 10 feet. It is the variety that I prefer for its exceptional floral quality.

  3. Dina

    Hi there, It looks and sounds like a “kong” sunflower!? 🙂

    • Thank you Dina!
      It is very similar to the Kong, for sure. The difference between those and mine, is that the branches on mine have more than one flower on them. Most of my flower’s branches have three heads on them.
      Less than half of my plant is flowered so it is tough to tell this from my photos.
      It is even more open today… I hope we have more good weather so they are not spoiled before the whole thing comes to fruition!

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  5. Be sure to do a beautiful painting of this. It came there for a reason!? A Gift.

  6. Sandy

    Send a photo to your local television station or newspaper, also a great prelude into your THO.

  7. SPACE

    gorgeous…clearly your good karma ! X

  8. Heather

    I love this gift you’ve been given. If you get seeds, mail me some and I’ll throw them in a crack in my sidewalk!

  9. Kari

    So gorgeous… Thanks for all the lovely pics!

  10. The last line ” harsh for the birds that don’t migrate. Then enjoy! I hope you continue to recover your health and enjoy you treasure of a home. Cheers.

  11. When the seeds are ready harvest the flower heads and place them to dry in a cool place out of sunshine. Then in the spring you can share the seeds with friends and or have many to spread around early in the year. Volunteer plants are great because they can acclimate themselves. Plant under a layer of 1/4″ soil so the birds don’t get them all. If you harvest many, many of them you can put them out like bird feeders when the weather becomes harsh for birds that don’t migrate.
    Then Enjoy!

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