The Sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, commonly grown in fields throughout the country & facing east towards the sun, as its intensifying light illuminates the golden flowers and projects its powerful energy.
In traditional folklore it is a symbol of warmth & the sun’s healing power, a highly cherished flower by the Ukrainian people who often wore or embroidered them into their clothing to deter negative energies and bring good health & luck. Sunflower designs were also added to furniture, fabric and wall paintings.
The bright golden sunflowers against the blue sky is also said to represent the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
Sunflowers are tall upright annuals which grow to about 300 cm/120 inches in height and are member of the daisy family believed to make your day a happy one. Its large yellow flower represents the sun and the disk in the center contains lots of small flowers which attract many insects for pollination because of its warmth as it tilts towards the sun.
Sunflowers were introduced to Ukraine during the 18th century by Peter the Great and they have adjusted well to the hot dry conditions, especially with the creation of the cultivar ‘sunny’. The country is now one of the leading suppliers of sunflower oil from around the globe. Sunflower seeds are also extremely popular in food during lent, and were accepted by the Orthodox church during this fast.
But now as war rages in Ukraine, sunflowers are now being used as a symbol of peace and resistance, worn, planted or used as a symbol of protest in honour to the people of Ukraine, to the thousands of people who have lost their homes, family members, those fighting in war, or for whose who have left their country as refugees.