Seriously, those sunflowers really bring in the masses. The gift that keeps on giving.
Seeds: As soon as they’re planted they’re dug up and eaten by the bandicoot.
Sprouts: Once they show their heads, they’re nipped off by possums and/or bandicoots.
Flowers: Nectar and pollen are joyfully collected by bees, and not just my honeybees either.
Petals: The delicate yellow petals are munched by birds – any birds (or at least any bird in the parrot family).
Seeds again: Before I can harvest them they are eaten by birds – all the birds: cockatoos, crimson rosellas and even the chickens enjoy sunflower seeds. The cockatoos are clever enough to realise they can’t stand on the weak stalks so they walk up and bite the stem near the base, making the whole flower fall with the head in easy snacking position. We watched happily while 2 birds devoured 3 flowers this way (photo above) but when they looked up at number 4 we chased them off. There’s really got to be a limit to a feeding frenzy or there will be nothing left for everyone to share.
Without a doubt, sunflowers are the most appreciated plant I’ve ever grown – and, not that it matters, they’re beautiful!
Now I’ve got to try to save some so I can harvest seeds for next year’s sowing. I put bags around 3 of the heads in the hopes the birds will leave them alone. At this point I’m cautiously optimistic.