The Sunflower Project

The Sunflower Project

The tale of the sunflower is an interesting one with twists and turns.


Native to North America, the wild sunflower was commercialised in Russia and only fairly recently returned to North America to become a cultivated crop. However, the domestication of the plant into a single flower headed plant in a variety of colours, was thanks to the American Indian.



The American Indian tribes had many uses for sunflowers – creating flower for cakes; combining it with beans, squash and corn; squeezing the oil out of the seed to make bread; textile dyeing; body paint, etc.


The cultivation of the sunflower increased in the 18th century. This was mostly credited to Peter the Great. The manufacture of sunflower oil on a commercial scale and the non prohibition of sunflower oil by the Russian Orthodox Church led to its gain in popularity.



By the late 19th century, Russian sunflower seed found it’s way back to the US, advertising the “Mammoth Russian” in seed catalogues. From there, sunflower breeding followed in Canada.



If you want to read more about the history of the sunflower, head on over to The Bee Effect’s blog “Sunflowers for Honey Bees“.

Sunflowers for Honey Bees

We know bees need food to survive. They get their food from flowers in the form of pollen and nectar and both are important for their health and survival. Sunflowers are not the richest in either of these categories, but they do provide bees with a medium nutritional level of pollen as well as nectar.


Interestingly, inbreeding as well as a shortage of rain can cause nectar levels to be low.

Sun ● flow ● er — even in the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight.

GIANT Sunflower Kits

You might have seen giant pumpkin growing kits before, but now there’s a new kid on the block!



We have secured seed of one of the few giant sunflower varieties available worldwide and created a growing kit with all the essentials included to grow your own giant sunflower.



Complete with a fun instruction guide and everything you need to grow your own GIANT sunflower, our growing kits make the perfect gift and will instil a sense of wonder in anyone who watches it grow!

Fun Activities

Sunflower Room

Building a sunflower room is as easy as it is cool! Simply plant, feed your plants and in 2 months enjoy a lovely shaded spot to hide away in with a book and a cup of coffee.

Prizes up for grabs!

can you grow the LARGEST sunflower?

We have sourced the seeds of the tallest and largest sunflower variety so you can join in our sunflower challenge!

We have put together a complete kit to guide you in growing your own showstopper. Grow your own GIANT sunflowers using our growing kit.

This year we will also have a competition to see who can grow the largest sunflower in all of Mzansi!

Keep an eye on our socials for more information regarding the competition!


Check out this sunflower maze in Liverpool, England. Getting lost between these sunflowers must be glorious!

On an unrelated note... does anyone have a couple of hectares free?


We have a range of sunflower seeds available to choose from. Click below for more information.

Sunflower Red Sun

An open polinated heirloom variety. Branching in habit with luxurious vibrant dark red petals surrounding a dark centre.

Sunflower Galilee Adami

A variety which do equally well in summer as well as winter. Deep yellow petals surrounding a dark centre. 

Sunflower Pro Cut Orange

Beautiful vivid mango orange coloured petals with a dark centre. This is a single stem variety.

Sunflower Pro Cut Red

Rich velvety burgundy petals with a dark centre. This is a single stem variety. 

Fun Facts

World Record

According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower ever grown was in 2014 by Hans Peter Shiffer in Germany. It Measured 9.17 meters!

Van Gogh

One of the artist Vincent Van Gogh's most famous works, is that of a series of sunflowers. Interestingly Vincent didn't sell one painting during his lifetime. One of his sunflower paintings now sold for $80mil.


Did you know the entire sunflower is edible? Seeds, sprouts, roots, stalk, leaves, flower petals and even the flower head itself.


Happens when the immature bud of the sunflower responds to the position of the sun. In the morning it faces the sun rising in the east. Then follows it throughout the day until it sets in the west. During the night the bud turns back to the east, ready to greet the sun the next morning.