Question - Are artichokes and sunflowers related?

Answered by: Bonnie Hall  |  Category: General  |  Last Updated: 23-08-2021  |  Views: 1248  |  Total Questions: 14

Artichokes, which are also called globe or French artichokes, are a large perennial plant native to the western and central Mediterranean region, and cousins to chrysanthemums, dahlias and sunflowers (Jerusalem artichokes, which are tubers, aren't really artichokes at all). Sunflowers belong to the family Asteraceae. With nearly 1, 550 genera and approximately 24, 000 species, this is the largest plant family. The orchid family (Orchidaceae) and legume family (Fabaceae) are the next two largest families. Artichokes may be stored for 1 to 2 weeks at 32 degrees F. Buds allowed to become over mature will be loose, fibrous and inedible. (However, artichoke blossoms are attractive as fresh or dried flowers. ) Unharvested artichokes turn into striking flowers. It is in the sunflower family ( Asteraceae or Compositae – also known as the aster family, daisy family, or the composite family). It is most often grown as leaf vegetable and lettuce is most often used for salads, although it is also seen in other kinds of foods such as soups, sandwiches and wraps.

Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. Sunflowers are known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone's (or your) day.

L. Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, is a large annual forb of the genus Helianthus grown as a crop for its edible oil and edible fruits.

The name sunflower comes from the Greek helios "sun" and anthos "flower. " Sunflower got its name because the flowers turn toward the sun. Some kinds of sunflowers are grown for food, seeds and oil. A sunflower head can produce up to 1, 000 seeds.

The blossom of a typical sunflower is called a head. In the common sunflower, the outer yellow petals are called ray flowers, and the center is composed of numerous disk flowers crowded together. The entire head is subtended by numerous green bracts called phyllaries.

Sunflower Symbolism & Colors Sunflowers also symbolize worship and faithfulness in various religions because of their resemblance to the sun, which is associated with spiritual knowledge and the desire to seek light and truth. The Incas used sunflowers to symbolize the Sun God, and brought them to temples for worship.

Scientifically known as dwarf sunflowers, these plants love to grow in bunches and occupy small spaces such as gardens and planters. Dwarf sunflowers have the same low maintenance care requirements as their taller family members and grow best when in full sunlight.

Millions of sunflowers have been planted in radioactive areas to soak up toxins from the ground and brighten the hillside of Fukashima. “We plant sunflowers, field mustard, amaranthus and cockscomb, which are all believed to absorb radiation, ” Abe says.

Artichokes are low in fat while rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Particularly high in folate and vitamins C and K, they also supply important minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. To top it off, artichokes rank among the most antioxidant-rich of all vegetables ( 2, 3 ).

Pruning – Continue Care After Harvest Once the plant stops producing buds in the fall, pruning artichokes helps to prepare for over-wintering. Simply cut the artichoke stem back to a few inches above the ground. Apply a thick mulch of leaves or straw over your artichoke bed to protect the plants for cold winters.

Artichokes need nine to 10 days of temperatures below 50 degrees F when young to form buds and flower. If your area does not receive cold weather, or if your plant too late in the season, your plants may not produce buds.

Look at the stem. A ripe artichoke will have a green stem like the rest of the vegetable. A black or dark brown stem at the point of the cut is a bad sign—it means the artichoke is more than likely overripe.

When and How to Harvest Artichokes Artichoke harvest starts in late July or early August and continues well until frost. Buds are generally harvested once they reach full size, just before the bracts begin to spread open. Harvesting artichokes requires that you cut off the bud along with 3 inches of stem.