The flower consists of a flower head attached to a very thick course like stem. The leaves are also very thick, heart shaped and have toothy like edges. I'd say from the time we started our walks, it took the flower about six weeks to mature to this point. The most exciting discovery for them (because drawing it for their nature journal required deep observation) was that the head is actually made up of thousands of florets:
My kids absolutely loved this. We had not looked at a sunflower this closely before. It was amazing to look at it and discover these pretty little flowers inside a flower. And of course now they understand what part actually is the sunflower seeds that they eat. I actually found it interesting to learn that there have been attempts to mathematically explain the formation of the florets inside the flower head. Can you see that beautiful pattern? Just amazing!
My seven year old kept saying she felt she was drawing a Mexican sun. Her specific term really made me curious so we thought we would look up some history. And she was right. The sunflower is native to Central America and first seemed to be domesticated in Mexico. Certain indigenous groups recognized the flower as a symbol of their solar deity. She probably remembered items around our home that we have collected over the years with the symbol of the sun (that specifically were made in Mexico and Central America) and how much they looked like what she was drawing. I just love those keen observations and connections they make on their own.