Monday, July 3, 2017

Sunflower in United States

The sunflower is a wild-flower that are native to both North and South America, where indigenous people were the first to cultivate them.  It was domesticated by Native Americans in the Eastern United States in about 3000 BC. They used the seeds directly as food and crudely extracted the oil.  The seeds were dried, shelled, and eaten; they were also used in succotash and green corn.

Domesticated sunflower seeds have been found in Mexico dating to 4100 years ago, suggesting an independent domestication may have occurred there.
While Native Americans in western North America collected the seed of wild sunflowers for food, a practice continued by some until early in the twentieth century. In addition to eating the seeds they also used the plants for pigments.

The flowers were employed in ceremonies, the dried stems utilized in construction and for fuel, and various other parts exploited for medicinal purposes.

Native Americans had selected a tall, single-headed variety by the time European explorers reached North America in the sixteenth century. By that time, the sunflower was a minor garden crop in much of North America. It was taken to Spain in 1569 for ornamental use.

Two centuries later, the plants were being grown for their oil on a large scale in France and Bavaria, and following this development, they moved farther eastward into eastern Europe and especially Russia.
Sunflower in United States

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