I remember walking inside the Sunflower fields of my uncles in North Karnataka. The flower heads would be above my head enjoying the sunshine.
Driving on roads lined by Sunflower fields on the way to Bandipur is another joyful experience. All the flower heads would be turned to the same side. A delight to watch and photograph.
In Kannada this plant is known as Suryakanti, in Hindi it is Surajmukhi. Botanical name is Helianthus annuus belonging to Asteraceae family.
Sunflower looks like the Sun and turns to face the Sun directly. It is a native of North America. The plan grows to a height of 15 feet. The leaves are rough, hairy, and oval. The flowers are up to 13 inches in diameter and have yellow ray florets. The brown center comprises of disk florets.
The disk florets produce seeds. These seeds are used to extract the popular edible oil. The seeds are roasted and eaten as a snack. It is also used as bird food.
Plant them directly under the sun in fertile, well-drained soil.