Sunflower Nation

Undeniably One of the Bestselling Cut Flowers Around, Sunflowers Come from Hyper-Local Farms and Mega Growers Alike

This article appears in the September 2018 issue of SuperFloral Magazine

By Debra Prinzing

You can trace the ancestral origins of Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, to the U.S. prairies and much of Central America. Modern-day breeding has transformed the once simple, 2- to 3-inch flower into mammoth varieties with flowers up to 12 inches in diameter and slightly smaller statement blooms in an array of fashionable petal colors.

Sunflowers grown by Nellie Ashmore of That Girl’s Flowers in Clarksville, Ohio.

There are fields across the country producing sunflowers for seed and vegetable oil, both of which can be found on supermarket shelves. But it’s in the floral department where sunflowers shine, serving as a beacon that excites and inspires shoppers to take home a bright, cheery bunch as a habitual practice.

Here are two sunflower case studies, shared from the perspectives of cut flower growers and grocery floral buyers. In the first model, sunflowers are marketed throughout the calendar year due to the grower’s diversification of its production into Baja, Mexico, during the winter months. In the second model, sunflowers are seasonal and hyper-local, coming from a certified organic farm to supply customers of a specialty grocery chain in a single market outside Dayton, Ohio.

A mass-market sunflower display featuring Dos Gringos’ popular Mason jar sunflower bouquet program.

These stories may represent opposite ends of the floral distribution pipeline, but together they underscore the fact that there is a wholesale sunflower program for every type of retail outlet.

Read full article here

 

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by SlowFlowers.com. Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 700 members across the U.S.

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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)slowflowers.com.