Author Topic: Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes  (Read 436 times)

Greenie DeS

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Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes
« on: 2022-03-05, 03:00:45 PM »
I ran across the suggestion of growing sunflowers with small multiple heads to eat as buds. Most sunflowers I've grown taste good as buds or very young flowers but are much too big to be convenient and the texture could stand to be improved. An ideal would be a multi-headed plant that produces buds steadily throughout the year. I love artichokes and can't grow them here so I wonder if this might be a reasonable alternative.

I know most folks look for single, large-headed sunflowers for seed; does anyone know of a project working on edible buds? Any varieties they've grown that are particularly multi-headed? I've ordered some seed for the start of this project but haven't done as much research as I might.

William S.

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Re: Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes
« Reply #1 on: 2022-03-05, 06:20:21 PM »
The black oil sunflowers my parents used to feed to the birds are rather multiheaded. Last year I started a project to cross Lofthouse sunflower with Arikara sunflower and the Arikara had some multi headed individuals. This year Aimee wants to add that pink one in the baker creek catalog to the grex and I want to add Tiger Teddy the only OSSI sunflower. Cause why not?!
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian parent material and shallow 7" silty clay loam mollisoil topsoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Greenie DeS

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Re: Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes
« Reply #2 on: 2022-03-05, 09:42:24 PM »
I'll see if I can look up Arikara; generally their stuff does well here.

Why not indeed? The combination of being an adult with a paycheque and being able to afford any seeds I want, and landracing/grexing on acreage and being able to plant any seeds I have energy for, is one of the nicest possible things, I think.

Steph S

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Re: Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes
« Reply #3 on: 2022-03-06, 06:31:16 AM »
The number of sunflower varieties out there is dizzying, including many branched ones.   One thing I found challenging when searching varieties last year, is that not all sources will specify if the cultivar is 'pollen-free' or OP.  There are many many male sterile varieties since that is used extensively in breeding, and for florists the lack of pollen is a plus.  IDK how difficult it is to get rid of that trait.   Anyway you can find branched OP's at places like Baker Creek, iirc they have quite a few.

William S.

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Re: Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes
« Reply #4 on: 2022-03-06, 08:19:53 AM »
My wife wants low pollen sunflowers for her cut flower purposes.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian parent material and shallow 7" silty clay loam mollisoil topsoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Andrew Barney

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Re: Sunflower - small heads for eating like artichokes
« Reply #5 on: 2022-03-07, 04:48:47 PM »
I think Hopi Black Dye Sunflower is multi headed. It a rather interesting variety. Dark black seeds. Medium sized heads I think.