I was born in Kansas, I was bred in Kansas
And when I get married, I'll be wed in Kansas.
There's a true blue gal who promised she would wait,
She's a sunflower from the sunflower state.
She's a sunflower, she's my sunflower, and I know we'll never part.
She's a sunflower, she's my one flower, she's the flower of my heart.
There are more verses, but they weren't absorbed in my memory bank like the first verse and chorus. When my mom was cleaning out music (and more) at her house, she unearthed her "Sunflower" sheet music. Her maiden name was carefully penned on the upper righthand corner. It was before my own clean-out began, and I ended up bringing it home, along with some other music.
it, using it to decorate my mantel this August, along with other sunflower "stuff."
The music has a MCMXLVIII copyright. (To save you the trouble of Googling the Roman numeral translation, it's 1948. You're welcome!)
I didn't realize Frank Sinatra had a version until I was looking on Youtube.
Click here for the blog post. Also here.)
He wrote an article for the Heritage Village Museum in Tyler County, Texas, about the Old Beef Trail, and he recently sent me a screen shot to show how the photo was used.
Even though he was using it to illustrate the great cattle drives in the Plains, it made me think about all the sunflower photos I've taken in the years since I began my blog (and before that, too, I'm sure).
Summertime is sunflower time in Kansas. And even though our Iowa friends may believe it's a noxious weed, it's our noxious weed, thank you very much (with apologies to my son-in-law's Iowa family).
The genus Helianthus comes from the Greek "helios" meaning "sun" and "anthos" meaning "flower." The species "annuus" means "annual."
The sunflower grows in every Kansas county due to its adaptability to soils from sand to clay and its toleration of dry to medium moist soils. In the summer and early fall, the yellow flowers give the prairies and roadsides a golden glow.Sunflowers were cultivated in North America as far back as 3000 BC and were introduced to the rest of the world by Spanish Conquistadors in 1500.
According to an article in The Hutchinson News by Steve Gilliland, the sunflower became the state flower of Kansas in 1903. As history has it, in 1901, George Morehouse, a state senator from Council Grove, attended a rodeo in Colorado Springs where all the Kansas folk in attendance wore sunflowers identifying them as Kansans. Morehouse was so moved and inspired by the Kansas spirit, that upon returning home, he drafted the bill naming the sunflower as our state flower.
In this original bill, Morehouse stated:
“This flower has to all Kansans an historical symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairie and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present and richly emblematic of the majesty of the golden future, and is a flower which has given Kansas the world-wide name “The Sunflower State.”
The sunflowers pictured above are a different kind of sunflowers, Maximilian. They bloom a little later in the summer.
The large-headed cultivated sunflowers grown today are one of a small number of agricultural plants to originate north of Mexico in North America.
Native Americans were using native sunflowers for food more than 3,000 years ago. Over hundreds of years and careful husbandry (selecting only the largest seeds for cultivation), the Plains tribes began the development of today's large modern sunflower. Sunflower seeds are rich in protein and yield a high-quality vegetable oil.
There are more than 60 species of sunflowers. The native sunflower grows to 15 feet tall with flower heads up to 2 feet in diameter, and can produce more than 1,000 seeds from one plant.
The flower head turns and
faces the sun throughout the day - tracking the sun's movement. We could learn a lot from a sunflower, I think ... especially during a pandemic and election season.