These are the glory days of sunflowers.
August is when crop sunflowers in Kansas are in full bloom. The endless fields of yellows and greens last only seven to 14 days before the flowers begin to drop petals and droop, waiting for late September and October when the combines roar across the fields.
Their seeds will be used for cooking oil, snack products and birdseed. Kansas comes in third nationally by annually harvesting more than 100,000 acres of sunflowers.
These crop sunflowers should not be confused with the Kansas state symbol, the Helianthus annuus. If you take the back road in almost any of state’s 105 counties, you will see the smaller, wild, uninhibited sunflowers standing in defiance of winds, drought, rains and almost anything else Kansas weather can throw at them.
When the sunflower was declared the state flower in 1903, Kansas lawmakers declared: “This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies, and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future.”