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Two-Headed Mammoth Sunflower

I had hoped that if I planted seeds from last year’s mammoth sunflowers a little early, I just might manage to harvest some seeds by now. But nature works at its own pace, not to meet my deadlines. This evening I see a mammoth sunflower bloom getting ready to burst open:

Two-Headed Mammoth Sunflower Getting Ready to Bloom, end of June 2009

Alas, by this time next week I’ll be on the road to a new home in a new town, one that saw 11 inches of rain this month. The soil will be ready to receive seeds, but it will be far too early to take these ones. I’m consoled by the knowledge that the neighborhood birdies will still get their snack.

When I was looking at the head I noticed another, littler bud trying to make its way from the top of the same stalk. I’d never seen a two-headed mammoth sunflower before, but to tell you the truth I’m not sure I’ve ever looked that closely at a sunflower when it’s budding; my attention tends to be drawn to them later when they get all gaudy and brilliant in their blooming hugeness.

Is it typical for a mammoth sunflower to have two heads at the top of one stalk? Should I pinch off the little one to save growing energy for the big one?

7 comments to Two-Headed Mammoth Sunflower

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