Originating in North America sunflowers, “tourne-soleil”, were first cultivated by the Native peoples of the Southern United States over 3,000 years ago. All parts of the plant were used; stalks for paper, petals and leaves for food and tobacco, seeds for oil and dye. Today, the sunflower still retains its importance as a food and oil crop, however, the primary attraction for the home gardener is its outstanding beauty. Sunflowers are our most favourite flower of all. Although sunflowers are annuals, they frequently self-seed, providing gardeners with a surprise the following spring.