Q:

Why do sunflowers face the sun?

A:

Quick Answer

No one knows why sunflowers track the sun, but scientists suspect that it may enhance the flower’s chances for pollination, increase the amount of heat the flower absorbs or accelerate the maturation of the sunflower seeds. Sunflowers achieve their movement through the differential growth rate of the cells in the stem. When the cells on the right side of the plant grow quickly, the flower head tilts the opposite direction.

Continue Reading
Why do sunflowers face the sun?
Credit: Digital Vision. Photodisc Getty Images

Full Answer

In addition to their sun-tracking habits, sunflowers are famous for their large flower heads and tall stature. However, the large part at the top of a sunflower head is not a single flower. Called a flower head, this structure contains hundreds or thousands of discrete flowers. After pollination, each flower turns into a seed. The largest sunflower heads may span more than 32 inches in diameter. The tallest sunflower ever recorded grew to more than 25 feet in height.

Sunflower plants grow wild throughout North America, but farmers use cultivated varieties that differ from their wild counterparts in a number of ways. While cultivated varieties produce more seeds per flower head than the wild counterparts do, they only have one head per plant, whereas wild plants may have up to 20 heads on each plant.

Learn more about Botany

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do plants absorb light energy from the sun?

    A:

    Plant leaves contain chloroplasts, which have chlorophyll that absorbs light energy from the sun. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that is important for the process of photosynthesis in plants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is pollination?

    A:

    Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from a flower’s anthers to the same or another flower’s stigmas. Pollens are moved from flower to flower by pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, beetles, moths, bats and birds. The wind also helps in pollination.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does pollination occur?

    A:

    Pollination may occur as cross-pollination between plants, or when bees, insects and birds transport and replant pollinated seeds and spores. Pollination takes place naturally in several ways, without human intervention. Some plants have the ability to repopulate among each other via the technique of cross-pollination, although most organisms rely on wind currents or pollinators, such as bees, birds and other insects to complete the process.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How was Earth formed?

    A:

    While no one knows for certain how the Earth formed, scientists theorize that it formed over 4 million years ago after the sun went through its initial formation, gravity began to draw heavy particles together into a planet and solar winds blew away lighter gases. These heavy particles became the core of the planet. As the mass continued to grow, heavier particles sank to the center, according to Space.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore