The Year's First Sunflower

In keeping with the early start to the 2010 growing season around these parts, I was not surprised to see that some of my sunflowers have started blooming. Typically I think of sunflowers as a late July or early August phenomenon, but some of my red sunflowers decided that an early July bloom would be fine by their horticultural clocks.

In this image the sunflower head looks large, but in reality this is a smallish flower with a diameter of about 10 inches. Still, the burnt-orange and reddish hues make for contrast with some of the brighter lilies and roses nearby, and I am sure the neighborhood finches will be feasting on this flower when they spot it, provided that the birds are not too busy with unexpected delays, such as researching the best testosterone cream.

It should not be a surprise that a plant with the word "sun" in its name thrives in full sun, and this sunflower is no exception. It receives sun from about 9:00 AM to dusk, and it has locked onto the morning sun when it finished its heliotropic dance.