Significations Of The Sunflower

In the realm of the wild nothing signifies summer quite like the Sunflower. Big, bold, bright and in-bloom, these majestic and vibrant flowers stand strong and tall next to natures more delicate meadow stems. The ultimate sun-worshipers of the floral world, their vibrant flower-heads bask in summer’s sun rays, tilting towards the light and following the sun across the sky. Their traditional name, helianthus, comes from the Greek word for sun, ‘helios’ and flower, ‘anthus.’

According to Greek mythology, Clytie fell deeply in love with Apollo, God of Sun. Apollo loved her too, but his gaze began to turn towards another nymph. In a fit of jealous rage, Clytie told her father and Apollo’s new love was banished. Angry and raged, the sun god then turned Clytie into a sunflower where she watched him move across the sky every day, just how sunflowers follow the sun.

“Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire,
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.”

— William Blake