Could sunflowers be the answer to a zombie attack?  

Well, no.  But they may be the key to survival afterwards.  

It's safe to assume that most people alive today can recognize a sunflower.  From priceless works of art to fields poised for a family photo shoot, this golden flower is famous.  And now it has one more positive attribute to add to its resume:  soil savior.  

Sunflowers have been discovered to remove, transfer, stabilize or destroy contaminates in our soil, a process known as phytoremediation according to The Farmers' Almanac.  Thier roots can soak up an incredible amount of toxins!

Using sunflowers to clean up contaminated soil is a safe, cost-effective and super environmentally friendly way and allows the land to be used once again.  We're talking taking land thought to be toxic and unable to grow crops to land that can safely produce food once again...and let's not forget how beautiful the landscape looks.  I think this calls for a fist-bump! 

I thought this sounded pretty cool, and when I continued my research, I discovered something truly amazing.  

Sunflowers can remove radioactive material.  

Enter the Chernobyl Sunflower Project.  

QUICK HISTORY LESSON:  There was a nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl, USSR, in 1986.  Thirty-one people died and the area looked like a scene from the movie, Divergent.  Today, it's still radioactive.  

The ghost town which once was Chernobyl

In 1994, a New-Jersey based firm launched a raft full of rooted sunflowers into a pond about 1 meter from the Chernobyl reactor.  In just 10 days, the results showed 95% of the radionuclides were absorbed by the sunflowers roots and passed to the shoots (source:  ScienceABC).  The project was a success! 

 Sunflowers can also absorb lead, arsenic, manganese, zinc and chromium.  

Stateside, sunflowers are being used in New Orleans to remediate the soil there and grow a crop for bio-fuel production and food crops.  This area has been struck twice by deafening hurricanes and "Project Sprout" aims to create education and job training to revitalize the area.  


Who knew that the bee's favorite flower could be so powerful.