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Floarea-soarelui o plant frumoas i util

ZILELE senine i nsorite ne nvioreaz pe toi. Nu e de mirare, aadar, c pretutindeni n lume oamenii
se simt la fel de nviorai la vederea plantei ce poart chiar numele soarelui: floarea-soarelui! Faa ei ce
pare c zmbete are puterea de a ne bine dispune. Cu att mai mult un lan ct vezi cu ochii de fee
aurii, ce par s radieze!
ara de batin a florii-soarelui se ntindea din America Central pn n sudul teritoriului numit
actualmente Canada. Planta era cultivat de indieni. Dup ce, n 1510, exploratorii spanioli au dus-o cu ei
peste Atlantic, floarea-soarelui s-a rspndit foarte repede n vestul Europei. La nceput, a fost folosit
doar ca plant ornamental n grdinile botanice sau n cele private. ns, pe la jumtatea secolului al
XVIII-lea, seminele ei au ajuns s fie considerate un deliciu. Tot pe atunci, oamenii preparau din frunzele
i florile ei un ceai pentru combaterea febrei.
Denumirea latineasc a florii-soarelui, Helianthus annuus, deriv din dou cuvinte greceti care
nseamn soare i floare i dintr-un cuvnt latinesc care nseamn anual. Planta atinge de obicei
nlimea de 2 m, ns unele exemplare uriae pot avea chiar peste 4 m. Tulpina robust i frunzele
proase i verzi susin o plrie mare, rotund, cu petale de un galben aprins. Centrul nchis la culoare al
corolei e alctuit din flori mai mici, tubulare. Seminele comestibile ale florii-soarelui se dezvolt tocmai din
aceste floricele, polenizate de insecte. Diametrul plriei florii-soarelui poate varia de la 5 cm la 50 cm, iar
o singur floare poate produce ntre 100 i 8 000 de semine.
Exist zeci de specii de Helianthus i se obin n continuare noi varieti. n general, doar dou specii se
folosesc n agricultur. Una este Helianthus annuus, cultivat ndeobte pentru extragerea uleiului.
Cealalt este Helianthus tuberosus, cultivat pentru tuberculii ei asemntori cartofilor, folosii ca nutre
pentru animale i la fabricarea zahrului i a alcoolului.
Floarea-soarelui se cultiv n prezent n principal pentru seminele ei, din care se extrage un ulei
excelent. Uleiul de floarea-soarelui se folosete la gtit, n sosurile pentru salate i la fabricarea
margarinei. Seminele au o valoare nutritiv mare, coninnd 1822% proteine, precum i alte substane
nutritive.
Multora le place s ronie semine uor prjite i srate. Fina din seminele florii-soarelui e folosit i
n produsele de panificaie. Mai mult, uleiul de floarea-soarelui este un ingredient al ampoanelor, al
alifiilor de buze, al cremei de mini i al produselor pentru bebelui. Se folosete chiar i la fabricarea
uleiului industrial de motor. Cu semine de floarea-soarelui pot fi hrnite chiar i psrelele i animalele
mici.
Un lan de floarea-soarelui este paradisul albinelor: de pe un hectar semnat cu floarea-soarelui se
poate obine o cantitate de 2550 kg de miere. Dup recoltare, tulpinile rmase au un coninut de 4348%
celuloz, utilizat la fabricarea hrtiei i a altor produse. Alte resturi se pot folosi ca siloz pentru animale
sau ca fertilizator.
Cu siguran, floarea-soarelui este un dar preios oferit omenirii. Splendoarea ei a inspirat maetri ai
pnzei precum Vincent Van Gogh, al crui penel a realizat celebrul tablou Floarea-soarelui.

The SunflowerBeautiful and Useful


BRIGHT, sunny days tend to cheer us up. No wonder, then, that people around the world also feel
cheered by the flower named for the sunthe sunflower! The happy, smiling face of a single sunflower in
a garden can lift ones spirits. How much more a big field full of their bright-yellow faces!
The sunflowers original home extended from Central America to what is now southern Canada. There,
Indians cultivated sunflowers. After Spanish explorers took the plant across the Atlantic in 1510 C.E., it
quickly spread throughout western Europe. At first, the sunflower was considered just an ornament for
adorning botanical and private gardens. But by about the middle of the 18th century, its seeds came to be
viewed as a delicacy. People back then also used its leaves and blossoms to make a tea for combating
fever.
The sunflowers Latin name, Helianthus annuus, is derived from the Greek words meaning sun and
flower and from the Latin word meaning annual. The flower usually grows to about six or seven
feet [2 m] in height, but some giant specimens grow to more than twice that height. The sturdy stalk and
rough, green leaves are crowned with a big, round flower with bright-yellow petals. These surround a dark
center composed of smaller, tubular flowers. When pollinated by insects, these smaller flowers develop
into the sunflowers edible seeds. A sunflowers center can vary from 2 to 20 inches [5 to 50 cm]in
diameter and may produce from 100 to 8,000 seeds.
There are dozens of species of Helianthus, and new hybrid varieties are constantly being developed.
Normally only two species are cultivated for agricultural purposes. One is Helianthus annuus, which is
grown mainly for the production of sunflower oil. The other, Helianthus tuberosus, better known as the
Jerusalem artichoke, is cultivated for its potato like tubers. These are used for livestock feed and in the
production of sugar and alcohol.
Most sunflowers today are grown for their seeds, which produce an excellent oil. Sunflower oil is used
for cooking, in salad dressings, and in margarine. The seeds have a high nutritional value, containing 18
to 22 percent protein and other nutrients.
Many people enjoy lightly roasted, salted sunflower seeds as a snack. Flour made from the seeds is
used as an additive in baking. Moreover, sunflower oil is an ingredient in shampoo, lip balm, hand cream,
body lotion, and baby-care products. It is even used in the manufacture of industrial motor oil. Sunflower
seeds are also used as food for birds and small animals.
A sunflower field is a paradise for honeybeestwo and a half acres [1 ha] of sunflowers may yield from
50 to 100 pounds [25 to 50 kg] of honey. When the sunflower harvest is over, the stalks that remain are
between 43 and 48 percent cellulose, which is useful in making paper and other products. Leftover parts
of the sunflower can serve as silage for livestock or as fertilizer.
Surely, the sunflower has proved to be a valuable gift to mankind. Its beauty has inspired artistic works,
such as Vincent van Goghs painting Sunflowers.

Word study
1. sunflower floarea-soarelui
2. insects insecte
3. seeds semine
4. oil ulei
5. sugar zahr
6. alcohol alcool
7. salad salat
8. margarine margarin
9. lip balm alifie pentru buze
10. hand cream crem de mini
11.
food alimente
12. honeybees albine
13. cellulose celuloz
14. paper hrtie

Vocabulary
Sunflower - any plant of the genus Helianthus having large flower
heads with dark disk florets and showy yellow rays
Seed - a small hard fruit
Oil - any of a group of liquid edible fats that are obtained from
plants
Sugar - a white crystalline carbohydrate used as a sweetener and
preservative
Food a general term for anything that people eat
Alcohol - a liquor or brew containing alcohol as the active agent
Margarine - a spread made chiefly from vegetable oils and used as
a substitute for butter

Summary
The sunflowers original home extended from Central America to what is now southern Canada. There,
Indians cultivated sunflowers.
The flower usually grows to about six or seven feet [2 m] in height, but some giant specimens grow to
more than twice that height. The sturdy stalk and rough, green leaves are crowned with a big, round flower
with bright-yellow petals. These surround a dark center composed of smaller, tubular flowers. When
pollinated by insects, these smaller flowers develop into the sunflowers edible seeds. A sunflowers center
can vary from 2 to 20 inches [5 to 50 cm]in diameter and may produce from 100 to 8,000 seeds.
Most sunflowers today are grown for their seeds, which produce an excellent oil. Sunflower oil is used
for cooking, in salad dressings, and in margarine. The seeds have a high nutritional value, containing 18
to 22 percent protein and other nutrients.
A sunflower field is a paradise for honeybeestwo and a half acres [1 ha] of sunflowers may yield from
50 to 100 pounds [25 to 50 kg] of honey.
Surely, the sunflower has proved to be a valuable gift to mankind. Its beauty has inspired artistic works,
such as Vincent van Goghs painting Sunflowers.