The Mammoth sunflower and bees


As I mentioned in an earlier post, this summer we have a Mammoth sunflower growing in a large container pot in our backyard. Apparently they can grow to 10 or 12 feet tall (hence the name), but it looks like our mammoth is "special". Not only is it the shortest sunflower plant we've grown so far, about 6 feet tall, but the flower didn't develop properly. It looked like there were double buds, which you'll notice in a photo I posted last week.

But this is definitely one flower. But instead of having an even middle surface of little disc florets, some of the involucres (the green pointed leafy looking things you see in the middle here) are growing right from the back of the flower head through to the front. However, the bees still love to feed on it. There's about one bee per minute on the flower, mostly honey bees. The honey bee in the above photo spent several minutes getting through the entire surface of the flower, which probably was an interesting experience, since this flower is made up of several layers.

We think this is a very cool specimen of sunflower, with its very own characteristics.

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