The Sun Bonus: Sun-Loving Flowers

One of the activities in Sparrow Tree Square's enrichment module The Sun is growing moss rose. Moss rose, also known as purslane or portulaca, is a common annual flower whose blossoms only open in full sun. In this article, you can learn about three more flowers with strong connections with the sun.

For more on the sun in culture, mythology, and everyday life, take a look at Sparrow Tree Square's The Sun enrichment module with poems, stories, articles, activities, book recommendations, and more!

Morning Glories are vining flowers that trail along the ground or up walls and fences. The flowers can be many colors including white and pink, but blue is one of the most popular shades. Morning glory flowers open in the morning sunlight, but fade in the afternoon--hence the name "morning glory"!

Photograph by Dwight Sipler, via Wikimedia Commons



Sunflowers are tall plants, with some varieties growing higher than the head of an adult! They have bright yellow petals and large brown centers, and their edible seeds are a popular snack food and source of cooking oil. In French, sunflowers are called tournesols, or "turn-suns," reflecting the common belief that sunflowers turn to face the sun as it moves across the sky. While young sunflower plants do follow the sun before they bloom, once they are in bloom they face east to catch the rays of the rising sun.

Photograph by Jon Sullivan, via Wikimedia Commons


Heliotrope is another plant whose name means "sun-turn," and its clusters of flowers are believed to follow the sun from east to west each day. There's no consensus on whether or not heliotrope flowers actually do follow the sun, but if the movement exists it would be fairly unnoticeable. Garden-variety heliotrope is known for the vanilla fragrance of its flowers and was an especially popular garden plant during the Victorian era.

Photograph by Kurt Stüber, via Wikimedia Commons