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The Sunflower, and the story behind it

March 15, 2018

New Discovery: Sunflowers have "Clock Genes"

Field of sunflowers all facing one direction-the sun. Why?

I was just reading a very interesting article written by Sarah Kaplan of The Washington Post about the circadian rhythms of the Sunflower. I never realized or even thought about this at all!. All I knew, was that the Sunflower is considered to represent an image of the spiritual realm. I wasn't even sure why it was representative of spirituality, until now.

The history of the sunflower dates back more than a thousand years ago in the Americas. Not only were the seeds considered to be a tremendous and healthy food source, but the sunflower also became a significant spiritual image, even today.


Sunflower seeds, were part of our diet more than a thousand years ago

The sunflower represents a symbol in search of truth and enlightenment. The representation of the light and true happiness. When you read on you will discover why.

I, by the way, had to look up the word circadian rhythm. It means "an internal clock, within animals and people, responding to the cues of the sunlight." This internal rhythm cycle is responsible for the sunflower's beautiful movement, like a ballet, flowing east to west following the sun's rays during the day, always facing the light.

Internal messages within the sunflower cells are sent through their system during the day; to the eastern side of the stems, informing these stem cells to grow a little longer, causing the flower to lean westward, in the opposite direction. When sunset arrives, the reverse happens, and the flower leans back toward the east again. The flower is always facing the sun, the light. This is truly amazing to me.

Sunflower section in full bloom over white.

The scientists are really excited by this new discovery, as Stacey Harmer, a professor of plant biology and the University of California expressed. "It's the first example of a plant's clock modulating growth in a natural environment and having real repercussions for the plant."

Don't get me wrong, these plants do not sleep, but do have these "clock genes" similar to animals, their sleep and wake cycles. Dr. Harmer has long been searching for this link between these genes and he has finally, found a hormone named auxin, which controls the stem growth of the plant. More research I am sure will follow this recent discovery.

I just thought I would bring this very interesting discovery of our beautiful sunflower to light. We are given more credence as to why we love and appreciate the many more gifts this flower is offering us and what is in store in the future.

I have a distinct feeling you will be hearing much more from our scientists regarding our sunflower and how it relates to the Flower of Life.

Source: Article "Sunflowers have circadian rhythms" by Sarah Kaplan: The Washington Post