This is the time to appreciate the phenomenal growth of Sunflowers, Helianthus annuus and the large yellow head of flowers.

Some, to celebrate their size, go by the cultivar names of ‘Mongolian Giant’, ‘Mammoth Russian’. These names also reflect the huge amount of acreage grown in Russia, the biggest producer of seed for food and oil. Native to the Americas from where it has spread through temperate regions becoming a popular choice for children to grow in competitions.

If you have grown a prize specimen choose the tallest and or finest flowering plant and tag it. This is the one to save seed from to grow on for next year’s flowers, providing it is not an F1 hybrid cultivar. Eat the rest.

Sunflowers Nr Barnaul Alti Krai Russia July 2013. Photo by JMM

Sunflowers Nr Barnaul Alti Krai Russia, July 2013

Sunflower, 16 August 2013. Photo by Tony Garn

Sunflower, 16 August 2013

Helianthum annus 'Mongolian Giant'. Photo by Tony Garn

Helianthum annus ‘Mongolian Giant’