Hopi Dye Sunflower
Known to the Hopi as Tceqa' Qu' Si. This beautiful plant attracts lots of pollinators. The dark purple/black seed hulls are traditionally used to dye wool and baskets, and the seeds are easily hulled for food and medicine. Native Seeds/SEARCH collected this variety in 1978 in the traditional village of Shungopavi on the Hopi reservation in Arizona. Medium to large heads with purple centers and yellow rays grow on 6-10' tall stalks. Smaller heads grow on side branches. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and their seeds have been found at the San Andres dig site in Tabasco, Mexico (dating to 2600 BC) and in dig sites in Tennessee (as early as 2300 BC). Sunflowers bred for oil seed in Europe, Russia, and the United States are grown in monocultures, threatening the older native and heirloom sunflower varieties.
Read Native Seed/SEARCH's well documented history and uses of this variety HERE.
Days to maturity: 90-100
Seeds per pack: 80
Planting / harvesting notes
Sow seeds directly in full sun, keep soil from drying out, and thin seedlings to 12-18" apart. This species is an annual in most of North America, but may self-sow in subsequent years.
Seed keeping notes
To harvest the seeds, cut the dried, browned flowers flower heads into a paper bag. Dislodge the seeds by breaking apart the seedheads/flowers. Use a strainer to sift out the larger chaff. Use your breath, wind, or fans to winnow off lighter weight chaff. Birds will likely start eating the seeds as they develop, so consider how much you'd like to leave for them, and how much you would like to save for yourself. Best harvested for seed during a dry spell.