Additional notes (click to expand)

Other use

Helianthus annuus L. Asteraceae Sun flower Distribution: Peru to Mexico. The seeds are a source of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat which as part of one's diet is given to reduce coronary artery and cerebrovascular disease, but recently a study has found an increased death rate (BMJ2013;346:e8707). Called 'the Indian Sunne or Golden Floure of Perrowe [Peru], Chrysanthemum Peruvianum' by Lyte (1578), it had only recently been introduced so he writes 'Of the vertue of this herbe and floure, we are able to say nothing because the same hath not bene yet found out, or proved of any man.' This was still the case in 1633 (Gerard) but, he writes, 'the floure of the Sun, Marigold of Peru: the buds before they be floured [i.e. before they come into flower], boiled and eaten with butter, vinegar and pepper, after the manner of Artichokes, are exceedingly pleasant meat, surpassing the Artichoke far in procuring bodily lust.' Bentley (1861) writes: 'The pith contains nitrate of potash, and is therefore sometimes used in the preparation of moxa [smoke pellets with medicinal intent] in Europe. The fruits [seeds] have been lately employed as an ingredient in a kind of soap called Sunflower Soap.'
Oakeley, Dr. Henry F. (2013). Wellcome Library notes. link

Helianthus annuus Greene Asteraceae. Sunflower, Marigold of Peru, Floure of the Sun. Distribution: Peru and Mexico. .An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit. ...'. It is a rich source of vitamin E. Not in Fuchs (1552), but elegantly illustrated in Lobel (1576) as Solis flos and Chrysanthemum peruvianum. Hybridising and selective breeding can reduce the level of saturated fats even further, as well as producing scarlet flowers. Darwin’s ‘natural selection’ has been replaced by ‘artificial selection’ as the commonest cause of new varieties of plant.
Oakeley, Dr. Henry F. (2013). Wellcome Library notes. link

Helianthus annuus L. 'Valentine'

Genus: Helianthus
Species: annuus L.
Cultivar: 'Valentine'
Common names: Sunflower 'Valentine'
Distribution summary: N.America, Mexico
Habit: Annual
Hardiness: H2 - Tender; cool or frost-free greenhouse
Garden status: Not currently grown
Reason for growing: Medicinal, other use, toxic

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