The miracles of nature – sunflowers

We all take plants for granted, and why not since it is all around us…the flowers that bloom in the neighbor’s garden, to the weeds that jets out of the concrete pavement, and the avid vegetarian gardener plucking the string beans from the foray of green leaves.


Have we stopped to think how this beautiful marvel of nature comes about and continues to coexist with mankind without once complaining? Naturally, there have been much science and research done regarding plants, how they germinate, pollinate and provide the nutrients for mankind to survive but we are likely have some hazy memories of this that we studied at school.


sunflowers - how they track sun

Sunflowers – a miracle of nature


I recently became more intrigued on this subject when I stumbled upon a news breaking story on how scientists have cracked the process of why sunflowers follow the sun. The mere idea of a flower following the sun is simply awe-inspiring and to understand the whole process is even more captivating. What the scientists have essentially found out from tracking thousands of sunflowers from their research are the following:


  1. Young sunflowers follow the trajectory of the sun by following the sun’s motion ie. rising in the east and setting on the west. Naturally, this is to ensure that they maximize the sun’s energy in the process in order to grow fast.
  2. Now you may ask, how does it keep following east to west, it must surely settle back to where it started. Of course you are right, and there is an explanation for this. What happens is that during the night, the stem of the flowers grow more at night only on the west side and as a result it moves the flower back to it’s starting point to resume another day of tracking the sun.
  3. The scientists have also discovered that older sunflowers do not track the sun at all and end up just facing east so as to be warm in the morning to attract pollinators.


So there you have it, the magic of the sunflowers and how nature has produced an amazing miracle that has been confirmed by science.


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