Saturday, June 7, 2008

First "Great Sunflower Project" Bloom

This is the first sunflower to bloom from the seeds I got as part of the The Great Sunflower Project. The project is in place to raise awareness about the world's most important pollinators--our native bees. By recording observations of bees on the sunflowers, the project can help gain a better understanding of which bees are declining where--and what habitats they need to survive. Once I make my observations, I send the information to the scientists at San Francisco State University, where it will be analyzed.

This flower just opened today, and the petals have not yet uncurled completely. The bees on my property are busy with several other flowers right now, including Tecoma Stans 'Orange Jubilee' and Leucophyllum frutescens, or Texas Sage, so I wasn't able to gather any information today. The sunflower did have a visitor though. I think it's a Praying Mantis. It stayed motionless all day, waiting for prey. It was still there this evening.

11 comments:

Claude said...

what a great project! I've often thought that those scientist types need to utilize people who actually garden, and are out in the enviorment that they are are researching... and of course, to top it all off, you get sunflowers!

beckie said...

I signed up for this a few weeks ago, but did not receive any seeds-they were having problems. So am using some of my own seeds and when they bloom will partcipate anyway. Not sure how this info will help but I am willing to do it because of the bee problem. It will be interesting to see how it all goes. Don't you just love those praying mantis! Last year we had babies hatch out on the tree by the patio and happened to be out there when they all began to move-all over the chairs and tables. They were fascinating to watch.

Teri C said...

What an interesting project and such a beauty.

Thanks for always helping me out with cacti id. I really appreciate it.

ceekay said...

Hi, thanks for your visit and comment on my Brighton. I didn't know of it until I saw ladies wearing the jewelry. I don't know exactly where you are, but if you got to Brighton.com they have a store locator. Have a great weekend.

Barbara said...

Sunflowers (various sorts of them) are very common flowers here in the gardens, especially cottage gardens. There are also big fields where they are growing (oil production) and people can buy a bunch (flower bouquets) in August, September.

Julie said...

This is great! One of the people I had sent this link out to had said they ran out of seeds, so I never applied! I don't know if this is still the case or not. I see bee farmers are getting some money which will be needed to see what is going on with them.

Lancashire rose said...

I'm glad to have found your blog. My son lives in Phoenix and I am always trying to help him with plants for his garden. You have given me some ideas.jenny

Teresa said...

Your weather and mine couldn't be more different this week! Lovely sunflower.

Ginni Dee said...

Such a beautiful work of natures art!

Leah said...

what a cool project. The sunflower looks gorgeous already!

Good Acres said...

Thanks for sharing information on this interesting project sponsored here in my backyard at SFSU. I like the shot of the sunflower with the praying mantis -- the symmetrical pattern of the sunflower is so mesmerizing and pretty! Happy GTS. -- Good Acres