Maturing sunflower head with bees

Maturing sunflower head with bees

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The central disk of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is surrounded by yellow ray florets. The disc florets start to mature from the outside edge inwards. Here only half the diameter has flowered. In the centre are the yellow unopened florets followed by the greenish immature florets in the middle. Each floret is capable of producing one seed and each head may have as many as 1 to 2000 seeds. Sunflowers are farmed for the seeds as a food for humans and animals and to produce an oil. Sunflower oil contains lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes and has a high Vitamin E content. It is a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels. Provence, France.

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Keywords: agriculture, apis mellifera, bees, carotenoids, farmed, farming, fats, florets, food, helianthus annuus, immature, lecithin, low saturated, maturing, mono-unsaturated, oil, polyunsaturated, ray florets, seed, sunflower, tocopherols, vitamin e, waxes

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