If you could crown just one flower Queen of Summer, it would be the stunning sunflower. The flower turns from east to west, following the sun's path across the sky. At night it resets eastwards, ready to start again.
Colours and shapes
As well as the familiar yellow sunflower, you'll also find orange, brown, cream and dark red versions. There’s plenty of variety when it comes to shape: some are large, others are small, and petals grow in either one or multiple rings. Whichever you choose for your bouquet, they guarantee a healthy dose of summer sunshine.
The sunflower often stands for the sun and love. In Greek mythology the nymph Clytia fell head over heels in love with the sun god Apollo. Although Clytia was very beautiful, Apollo did not reciprocate her love. As a result Clytia died of a broken heart. She was transformed into a sunflower and even today continues to turn towards the sun, in order to see her beloved.
The sunflower originates from the Americas. Native Americans ate the flower’s seeds with beans, sweetcorn and squashes. The flower’s official name is Helianthus, a combination of the Greek words ‘helios’ (sun) and ‘anthos’ (flower).