UBC Botanical Garden Forums  

» UBC Botanical Garden


Go Back   UBC Botanical Garden Forums > Plants: Science and Cultivation

Plants: Science and Cultivation Botany, horticulture, botanical gardens, practical training, higher education, and more.

Post New ThreadReply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old August 30th, 2006, 04:58 PM
Erica's Avatar
Erica Erica is offline
Contributor but Still Learning
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 94
Sunflower question

Hi all,
I hope this is the right forum. Anyway, this is an odd question but do sunflowers adapt to the space they are planted in or what? I got the seeds out of my bird seed bag "Black sunflower seeds". I just planted them to see if they would grow... and they did... but not all the same!
I planted seeds in three spots in my yard. The ones in my veggie garden are 16 feet high and HUGE, the ones in my smaller flower garden are only about 8 feet high and have smaller flowers on it and the ones I planted in a flower box are only 4 inches high and look like mini sunflowers.
What's that all about?
Erica ;0
__________________
Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.
- Virgil A. Kraft
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old August 30th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Carol Ja's Avatar
Carol Ja Carol Ja is offline
Generous Contributor (100+ posts)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Salt Spring Island
Posts: 672
Re: Sunflower question

Assuming that they were actually all the same variety, they would be different for various reasons, soil conditions, amount of light, amount of water.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old August 30th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Daniel Mosquin's Avatar
Daniel Mosquin Daniel Mosquin is offline
UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 7,670
Re: Sunflower question

Aha, a scientist!

What you are observing is the physical response to growing conditions, even though the seeds (likely) share a similar genetic background. In scientific terms, it would be said that these sunflowers exhibit a high degree of phenotypic plasticity, or variability in physical form due to outside factors (including at least some, if not all, as suggested by Carol).

See genotype-phenotype distinction on Wikipedia.
__________________
Please consider giving to UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, to support its mission of excellence in plant research, education and conservation.

Daniel Mosquin
Research Manager
UBC Botanical Garden | BC Flora | John Davidson
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old August 30th, 2006, 06:30 PM
Erica's Avatar
Erica Erica is offline
Contributor but Still Learning
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 94
Re: Sunflower question

Thanks guys..... soooooo.... if I plant other so-called large flowers in a flowerbox would I get little versions? for example, would a gladiola bulb bloom smaller if it was in a small pot? Maybe I will try next year.
Thanks for the replies.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old August 30th, 2006, 10:08 PM
Daniel Mosquin's Avatar
Daniel Mosquin Daniel Mosquin is offline
UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 7,670
Re: Sunflower question

Not all plants have a high degree of phenotypic plasticity , but it sounds like a fun experiment.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old November 11th, 2006, 06:47 AM
jamkh jamkh is offline
Contributor (100-499 posts)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 133
Re: Sunflower question

Erica, what an interesting observation,
I believe the different sizes is more dictated by the amount of nutrients available to the plants, assuming your soil structure and watering frequency remains identical. Of course with any batch of seeds from one mother plant, you are bound to get about 3 to 5% of the seedlings who turn out to be dwarfs. But this genetic feature is not what made your potted sunflowers small. The potted ones are akin to bonsai due to their restricted root growth.
Erica, did you observe how the sunflower turns its head to follow the path of the sun get maximun light and that the sunflower seed bracks carry out photosynthesis as well? Interesting behavior.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old November 11th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Erica's Avatar
Erica Erica is offline
Contributor but Still Learning
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 94
Re: Sunflower question

Hey, yes, I did observe the larger sunflowers turning their heads but the smaller ones didn't. Guess they didn't have the strength. Thanks for commenting.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old November 14th, 2006, 11:38 AM
jamkh jamkh is offline
Contributor (100-499 posts)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 133
Re: Sunflower question

Erica,
Since I mentioned seed bracks, Please conduct this simple experiment next time you grow sunflowers. As the flowers open, pluck all the bracks from the left side of the flower head. You will find that the right side produces viable, healthy seeds but the left produces only seed coats, devoid of embryos. No food, therefore no good seeds. Interesting!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old November 14th, 2006, 11:45 AM
Erica's Avatar
Erica Erica is offline
Contributor but Still Learning
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 94
Re: Sunflower question

Hey, I'm pretty unknowledgable about sunflower seeds but I thought if I dried the whole head at the end of the season that I would get a full supply of healthy seeds. Is that not true?Do i want to pluck some so that the others are viable?
Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old November 14th, 2006, 05:25 PM
jamkh jamkh is offline
Contributor (100-499 posts)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 133
Re: Sunflower question

Erica
No. that wasn't my intention. I was just pointing out the fact that these seed bracks do make food for the sunflower. In fact I was totally surprized when I got a whole flowerhead of empty seeds on it. And the sunflower has such giant leaves as well, you would think they make sufficient food for the seeds. But remember the flower head can be enormous, measuring 2 to 3 feet across with tons of seeds.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old November 14th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Erica's Avatar
Erica Erica is offline
Contributor but Still Learning
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 94
Re: Sunflower question

Ok, gotcha, Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old November 14th, 2006, 05:40 PM
haul0348 haul0348 is offline
Registered Plus (3-99 posts)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lebanon Tn
Posts: 29
Re: Sunflower question

Also the depth of the soil can help or hender the plant growth the more room the roots have to grow will aide in the overall growth.
Reply With Quote
Old June 3rd, 2007, 08:29 PM
ultimatesun
This message has been deleted by Daniel Mosquin. Reason: Too commercial of a post from a new member (particularly for reviving an old thread). Possibly spamming, so removed.
Post New ThreadReply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
sunflower allelopathy finngreen Fruit and Vegetable Gardening 6 October 17th, 2008 12:35 PM
sunflower seeds kmb34me Fruit and Vegetable Gardening 4 September 27th, 2006 12:42 AM
Sunflower Durgan Botany Photo of the Day Submissions 0 June 10th, 2006 07:32 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2001-2011, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden & Centre for Plant Research