According to Greek Mythology, the sunflower was once a lovely maiden named Clytie. Clytie was tall and slender with blond hair and large brown eyes. One day, the maiden cast her eyes to the skies and caught a glimpse of Apollo in his chariot and fell madly in love. Day after day, she stood in the garden watching Apollo as he traveled across the sky. Instead of returning her love, Apollo became angry because he was disguising himself with the brightness of the sun and did not want mortals to see him. Apollo cast a sun arrow upon Clytie's head. Her brown eyes grew larger as her blond hair transformed into the petals of a flower and her toes grew into strong roots that anchored her to the ground. Clytie spent her days gazing upward and following Apollo's path across the sky. The sunflower has followed the path of the sun across the sky ever since.
There is some truth to the belief that sunflowers follow the sun's path across the sky. Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they turn towards the sun, but they don't follow the sun forever. Young sunflowers do track the sun across the sky, facing east in the morning and west at sunset, but as the sunflower matures, the flower typically stops tracking the sun and becomes stationary, facing the east.
If you grow sunflowers for their beauty, or you want to grow these flowers to take photos next year, choose a location on the north or west side of your property so the sunflower blooms are visible in your yard.
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