Sunflower yellow and gold color palettes are just what you think of for Kansas prairie colors. Below are a few interesting combinations inspired by the sunflowers here in Kansas. Common Sunflowers are wonderful but my favorite sunflower is the Russian Mammoth.
There are over 60 species of sunflowers most of which are east of the Rocky Mountains. The images in this post are of various species. I didn’t get these wonderful flowers planted in my garden till late this year so I am not sure how many I will have in the fall. Last year I had quite a few Russian Mammoth Sunflowers. They are truly impressive flowers and rather breathtaking. The Common Sunflower grows up to about 10 feet high and the Russian Mammoth grows up to 12 feet high!
The Sunflower is the Kansas State Flower
Both the photos above and below were taken at the Konza Prairie. One of the best ways to identify sunflowers and distinguish between species is to notice the leaves. After taking note of the leaves on the sunflower below I still couldn’t identify it even when looking at Kansas wildflowers by color. But I believe the one above to be the Sawtooth Sunflower. We saw lots in bloom the last time we hiked.
One thing to study while learning about sunflowers are florets. Florets are the small flowers that make up the composite of the flower head-all the little flowers in the center. Fibonacci spiral patterns appear in many plants and sunflowers are one of them. If you want to incorporate a math lesson with a sunflower study check out this free math lesson plan on Fibonacci by Mensa for Kids. I loved the spiral pattern in the seeds of these sunflowers below. And it made a lovely color combination too! Green is my favorite color and I am a sucker for it.
More wildflowers in Sunflower Yellow.
I also found these beautiful yellow wildflowers on the Konza Praire: Wild Senna (pea family), Missouri Goldenrod (sunflower family), Prairie Coneflower (sunflower family) and some type of Primrose either closely related to or actually the Missouri Evening Primrose (Evening Primrose Family).
Watch for more Colors on the Kansas Prairie in this series:
Use this Sunflower Notebook Page to record much of the info you just learned on the Common Sunflower.
And if you like this notebook page you’ll love the Sunflower unit packet I created for Hip Homeschool Moms! It will be available on August 25th:
Linked up with other wonderful summer series on iHomeschool Network Summer Hopscotch!