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Facts about Sunflower Pollen

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Facts about Sunflower Pollen

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Overview

The sunflower is a composite flower of the family Asteraceae and one of many flowers that produce pollen. Pollen is a fine, yellow, dust-like substance that forms at the base of the head and attracts honeybees and butterflies.

Significance

Honeybees gather the pollen of sunflowers as soon as it develops. A pleasant-flavored honey results from the honeybee's pollination of the flower. Seed-setting in sunflowers is dependent on the transfer of pollen by the honeybee or other pollinators.

Features

Sunflower pollen falls easily if not gathered by honeybees and other pollen collectors. Although pollen-free hybrids now exist, garden classics are still popular. The pollen from sunflowers leaves stains.

Effects

Sunflower pollen can produce an allergic reaction. Symptoms vary but may include itching, wheezing and headache.

Function

Sunflower pollen has been used in studies to track local and long-range movements of the H. armigera moth in Queensland, Australia. This moth is a major pest species in that region.

Benefits

Sunflower pollen is high in amino acids, vitamins, minerals and good fats.

References

  • Pollen Burst
  • Ingenta Connect
  • Iowa State University Extension

Who Can Help

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Crop Plants and Exotic Plants
Keywords: sunflower pollen, flower allergies, honeybees

About this Author

Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.