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FutureStarrASunflower Root System
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) have a single taproot and smaller, hairy secondary roots. Sunflower roots usually grow 1 to 3 feet deep, and United States Department of Agriculture soil scientists have measured sunflower roots more than 5 feet long. While sunflowers grow in arid climates, for optimum growth and root development they require moisture and soil that is not compacted. Jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke (Helianthus tuberosus) also a sunflower, produces edible tubers.
Sunflowers may have a reputation for being drought-tolerant because they can withstand many weeks without water. The sunflower’s ability to withstand drought depends on a healthy taproot. If grown in compacted soil, the sunflower may develop a shallow and more horizontal root system, resulting in its reduced ability to absorb nutrients and moisture deeper in the soil. A lack of nutrients and sufficient water in turn weaken the plant, making it more susceptible to disease or damage by insects.Besides finding water, the roots of a plant serve to anchor it in the ground. Sunflowers can be difficult to pull up by the roots, and the strong taproot is often longer than the plant stalk above ground. The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) grows naturally across North America as an annual and may be considered a weed in some states. You may need to cut the stalk flush with the ground to remove the plant. Sunflowers do not spread by their roots and will not resprout after cutting, so you can control their spread by cutting before the flower goes to seed.
The sunflower root system is incredible: You can see here that the roots took over much of this bed and managed to break through the landscape fabric. Excavating these roots takes several people over an hour. At this weekend’s cleanup, we composted the stalks and leaves after the kids harvested sunflower seeds from inside the flower. We did not, however, compost the volunteer sunflowers. The roots of the volunteer plants dig deep into the soil under the sidewalk soil that, like most Brooklyn soil, is contaminated with toxins such as pesticides as well as lead and other heavy metals. In fact, sunflowers are known for their soil remediation powers!of N and P. The time to phenological stages was similar between treatment. The N and in minor degree the P increased grain yield (GY) and oil yield (OY) by increases in the grains number (GN), capitulum area (CA), canopy dry matter (CDM) and radical area (RA). In contrast, the P increase RDM but decrease the CDM/RDM relation. The effect of the interaction N * P on GY, OY indicates it is necessary to seek the best combination of N and P for increased the production of sunflower. The size grain and oil content in the grain did not change with N and P. The growth cycle was 122 days, with a seasonal ETc of 207 mm and 1,369°C d (Heat unit, HU). (Source: www.degruyter.com)