helianthus Sunflower

Helianthus Sunflower : the Argentinian Legend

Helianthus Sunflower Annuus is the Common Sunflower that has acquired mythical status in South American countries because of its beauty and health benefits.

What does Helianthus Mean?

In the word Sunflower Helianthus, Hēlios means “Sun” and Anthos means “flower” (in Greek). That’s how old this gene is.

Helianthus painting
Helianthus painting

Legend of the Helianthus Sunflower

Legend has it that there were two tribes living close to the Paraná River in Argentina. The Chief of one tribe was called Pirayú and the other was Mandió.

Pirayú and Mandió were buddies so the two tribes had a very good trade in handicrafts and food.

Caranda was Piray’s gorgeous kid who spent her entire day staring at the Sun, happy and smiling the entire time. The lady would be depressed and angry on cloudy days.
 
Mandió even considered asking Carandi from Piray for her hand in marriage to solidify the ties between the two tribes. Piray refused to let go of his daughter, citing the fact that Caranda had dedicated her life to the God “Sun.” Mandió became enraged and vowed vengeance.
 
Mandio set fire to the tribe one day when Caranda was in her canoe watching the sunset. She swam quickly towards the fire when she saw it rising from their houses, but she couldn’t scale the bank. “You’ll have to ask your god to save you from my vengeance,” Mandio said, stopping her.
 
Caranda begged her Sun God “Cuarahj” not to let Mandaio burn her clan down.
 
Cuarahj, the Sun God, heard her prayers and showered her with rays that enveloped her before she departed. A plant that resembles the sunflower that we see today took root exactly at that location.
 
So that’s where the names Sunflower Helianthus came from.
 

 

Helianthus Sunflower
Helianthus Sunflower

Types of Sunflower Helianthus

  1. Helianthus Annuus
  2. Helianthus Angustifolius
  3. Heianthus Gigantius
  4. Helianthus Divaricatus
  5. Helianthus Strumosus
  6. Helianthus Maximiliani
  7. Helianthus Decapitalus
  8. Helianthus Debilis

Helianthus Annuus

Also called the Teddy Bear Sunflower because of its stunted stem and wide fluffy blooms on top. This variety looks equally great in your front garden and as inside a bouquet. It is also used to make sunflower cooking oil.

Helianthus Angustifolius 

This variety of Sunflower does very well in drab Swampy lands. It looks wonderful in a muddy environment and also helps in wetland restoration projects.

Helianthus Giganteus 

Giganteus as its name sake, has a towering stem and a bright large faced flower on top. This variety is used in the third world countries to make cooking oil and feed the rest to the cows in the farm. It is a great screen for privacy of homes too.

Helianthus Divaricatus 

This typical variety grows in colder climates and does not require too much sunlight to do well. It looks great in woody areas where very little Sunlight gets through. It is still a beautiful yellow flower.

Helianthus Strumosus

The combination of pale green leaves and bright yellow flowers makes a great combination in cold woodlands and prairies. 

Helianthus Maximiliani 

Maximiliani Sunflower gives hope to insects and flower lovers late in Autumn. Its late season bloom fills drab landscapes with color and allows birds and bees to enjoy nectar when nothing else remains.

 

Health Benefits of Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil

Although any sort of edible oil in excess is bad for the heart, but if you must use one then Sunflower oil help in :-

  1. Hearth Health with its mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats like linoleum acid (Omega-6). This lowers Bad Cholesterol LDL.
  2. Sunflower oil’s anti inflammatory qualities because of Vitamin E and antioxidants reduce inflammation of the digestive track. This helps reduce weight and improve energy.
  3. Sunflower oil is used in Skin Care products
  4. This Sunflower oil helps absorb fat soluble Vitamin A, D, E and K
  5. Sunflower oil has been used as hair and scalp moisturizer for ages.

Also see,

Spring Time

Plant a Tree

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