DESCRIPTION: There are two types of sunflower. The first is "confectionery sunflower". This is the familiar large black and white striped kernels that are used in a variety of food products from snacks to bread. They actually have a useable oil content of their own but nothing like the other sunflower, black sunflower. Black sunflowers are bred for big yields of small seeds very high in oil content, and are processed into sunflower oil and meal. Sunflower oil makes a better salad oil due to its pleasant taste and it is very stable for cooking. It is also the seed of choice of most bird feeders.
This heirloom from the Hopi Pueblos of the Southwest antedates the development of the commercial Black Peredovik sunflower, from which it was developed. This sunflower has been grown for hundreds if not thousands of years. The black hulls make a purple dye and the seeds are used for oil and food. One of the parents of the modern oil sunflowers.
Plants get about 6 ft tall and have the familiar bright yellow flowers, smaller than ornamental types but still wonderful to see planted in a whole bed. Its also very helplful that the flowers turn downward when the seed is ripe to protect from birds, moisture, etc.
The versatility of this healthy oil is recognized by cooks internationally. The sunflower is generally considered to be premium oil because of its light color, high level of unsaturated fatty acids, lack of linoleic acid, mild flavor high smoke point, and significant health benefits. It is an excellent combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels. It contains more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil.
This black oil sunflower seed has more meat than a regular sunflower seed and the outer husk is softer so even smaller birds can crack into the seed. It is rated the number one food for wild birds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The high oil content in Black Peredovik sunflower seeds is important to birds in winter as they will spread the oil on their feathers, increasing buoyancy and keeping them dry and warm.
The spent oilseed meal can be processed and pellitized into flakes, which can be transferred to a pellet-maker for use as animal feed pellets with 29% protein.
GROW BIOINTENSIVEŽ CULTURAL INFO: Annual/ Height 6'/Spacing 9-24"
SEED CODE: N
SEEDS PER PACKET: 50
APPROXIMATE GERMINATION DAYS: 7-14
SOIL TEMPERATURE FOR GERMINATION: 70F
PLANTING DEPTH: 1/4"
WHEN TO PLANT: Spring
PACKET INSTRUCTIONS: May start in flats 3-4 weeks before last frost & transplant, but better to start directly in good, non-acid, well drained garden soil after danger of frost is past. Prefers a light loam. Does best, if well dug. Needs full sun, for best display, fertilize it well, lime if necessary, and make sure it doesn't get dry enough to wilt. Stakes and string around the edges and criss-crossing the center of the bed will help prevent the plants from falling over as the heads mature.
BOTANICAL NAME: Helianthus annuus
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