Is there anything quite like a field of sunflowers?
These tall beauties are a sight to behold.
It’s no surprise they make for beautiful tattoo art, and are a popular choice across ages and genders.
They’ve inspired great artists and photographers throughout time.
In fact, due to their striking aesthetic, some sunflower fields have had to close to the public!
In 2018, an overwhelming swarm of influencers descended upon a Canadian sunflower farm.
Hundreds of people came from miles away to get that perfect summer selfie.
The farmers were so overwhelmed they shut the operation down, causing many others to follow suit.
If you want to enjoy these sunny blooms stress-free, a sunflower tattoo may be your best option.
Are you thinking of getting a sunflower tattoo, and looking to learn more?
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of sunflower factoids.
Read on to discover:
- The history of sunflowers
- Fun facts about sunflowers
- Sunflower symbolism and mythology
- Most common sunflower tattoo designs
The History of Sunflowers
There are over 30 varieties of sunflowers, and they’ve had quite the history!
If you aren’t considering a sunflower tattoo now, you may change your mind once you’ve discovered their epic tale.
Sunflowers are native to the Americas and were cultivated by the Indigenous people who lived there.
The seeds were used as a healthy snack, and sunflower oil was extracted to make bread.
Because sunflowers are so giant and hearty, they’re an asset to have around.
They’re easy to grow, and will provide a rich bounty of seeds and oil.
Sunflowers can also be used to create dye for clothing.
Are you an earthy person who wants to live off the land?
This industrial flower may be a perfect symbol for you and your lifestyle.
When the Spanish conquistadors came to the Americas, they saw the value in these magnificent blooms and brought them over to Europe.
At first, people weren’t too blown away by the tall yellow flowers, but eventually, thanks to some Russian royals, they achieved superstar status.
Peter the Great, a Russian Tsar, discovered the flower in his travels.
When he brought it home to Russia, it was the oil that made them famous.
During lent, when the Russian Orthodox Church bans the use of oil, sunflower oil was a convenient loophole.
Because the oil wasn’t native to the area, it wasn’t on the forbidden list.
Soon, every Russian person had a bottle of sunflower oil in their pantry.
Because, no matter how dedicated you are to your religion, 40 days is a long time to cook without oil.
The Russians began cultivating the flowers.
They bred the blooms to suit their needs, then brought them back to America.
Soon, everyone started growing sunflower fields.
You know that feeling when no one in your hometown appreciates you, then you move to the big city, and suddenly everyone thinks you’re a celebrity? It was like that.
If you’re a globetrotter, or you’ve gone on a grand adventure, only to come back stronger and better than ever, a sunflower tattoo would suit you perfectly.
Are you starting to get some fun ideas?
Fun Facts About Sunflowers
There’s so much to love about these gentle giants of the plant world.
Next time someone asks about your sunflower tattoo, you can wow them with a few of these juicy details.
They Follow the Sun
One of the reasons people love sunflowers is their optimism, and it’s not just because of their vibrant hues.
Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they follow the sun.
If you’ve been feeling a little cloudy and want a cheerful reminder to look on the bright side, you may learn something from our friend, the sunflower.
They Come in Different Colors
Interested in a sunflower tattoo, but not a big fan of yellow ink?
No worries. Sunflowers come in an array of beautiful hues.
Try an Autumn Beauty, which goes from yellow tips to a beautiful bronze shade at the center.
Chocolate Cherry sunflowers are a deliciously deep shade of red, and a strawberry blonde’s center is a shocking purple/pink!
There are so many colors in the sunflower family you can design your tattoo with your favorite shades in mind.
They Have Healing Properties
Are you a naturopath or holistic medicine enthusiast?
Then you know that there’s much more to the sunflower than snacky seeds and oil for the rebellious Orthodox.
Sunflower tea can treat fevers, lung, and stomach ailments.
It can also be a fantastic anti-inflammatory treatment for swelling, or snake bites.
What do Sunflower Tattoos Mean?
To recap what we know so far, we’ve learned that sunflowers:
- Have a rich and worldly history.
- Are more than just a pretty face.
- Are perpetually looking on the bright side.
- Come in a vast array of colors.
Let’s learn more about the symbolism behind these sun worshipers.
Because of their striking appearance, they have captured people’s attention over the years, and plenty of metaphors can apply to this globe-trotting blossom.
The sunflower is a popular symbol across religions and spiritual beliefs.
If you’re going to navigate this challenging world with confidence in a higher power, sometimes you need a little faith in the unknown.
You need to keep looking for the sun, even when the skies are looking a little ominous.
Some of our best minds have used ‘finding the light’ as a metaphor for finding your faith.
- “There is no darkness so dense, so menacing, or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by light.”
-Vern P. Stanfill
- “The first thing you have to identify when you are in the dark is light.”
- “See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.”
- “We are all broken; that’s how the light gets in.”
And, finally, an old Maori proverb:
- “Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.”
Sunflowers are organic role models for believers.
They will find the light where they can, even on a dull day.
It’s hard to stick to a sunny disposition, but a little sunflower tattoo may be the reminder you need.
Feel free to pair your sunflower tattoo with any of the quotations, or one of your favorites.
Have you ever noticed the difference in people’s moods on a sunny day?
Everyone seems to walk with a little more pep, make a little more eye contact, and act a little sweeter.
The sun is often associated with happiness, and there’s a scientific reason for that.
Being outside on a sunny day triggers the release of serotonin, which helps you feel calm and focused on the task at hand.
With their large, circular centers and vibrant manes of petals, sunflowers look like little mini suns right here on earth.
A sunflower tattoo is well suited to someone with a sunny disposition, or someone who’d like to cultivate one.
While they still need proper love and care, sunflowers are hearty flowers.
They can survive drought, heat waves, and even influencer invasions.
In this context, a sunflower tattoo can remind you that this, too, shall pass.
You’ve got this!
Sunflowers as a Sign of Hope
One of the sunflower’s most powerful connotations is its ability to spread hope, and not just because of their vibrant blossoms.
Sunflowers have the unique ability to extract toxins from the soul.
They soak up radiation and harmful substances such as lead, arsenic, and uranium.
In 1996, they became the symbol of hope for a world free of nuclear warfare.
By drawing out these poisonous impurities, sunflower seeds have made a positive change in locations like Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Hiroshima.
A sunflower tattoo can be a beautiful homage for someone who’s been through unspeakable disasters.
Symbolism of Sunflowers in Various Cultures
Sunflowers in Greek Mythology
If it exists on earth, the Greeks have a mythological story behind it.
And the sunflower is no exception to that rule.
The tale of Clytie is less well known than some other myths, but it has all the drama and intrigue of an excellent Grecian story.
Clytie was a water nymph who lived a happy, uncomplicated life.
Until one day, she caught a glimpse of Apollo, the sun god, with his golden chariot.
She was so dazzled by his beauty and majesty; she sat watching for him all day.
But her love was unrequited.
She became so fixated on seeing Apollo again that she began to waste away.
Her body became thin, and her feet took root in the ground.
After nine days and nine nights of pining, Clytie became a sunflower.
This tragic romance is the Greek explanation for the sunflower’s fascination with the sun.
If you want to remind yourself not to get wrapped up in unrequited passion, a sunflower tattoo may be just the ticket.
Sunflowers in Witchcraft
Because of their associations with the sun, many Witches and Wiccans use sunflowers for solar rituals.
They may weave sunflower crowns for the summer solstice, or even decorate honeyed cakes with their yellow petals.
The magical properties for a sunflower include fertility and abundance.
Witches also use sunflowers to solidify bonds between friends and lovers, so they are a wonderful gift to someone you love.
Do you have an unspoken connection with a Witchy friend?
Matching sunflower tattoos may be the perfect choice to celebrate your love.
Sunflowers in Tarot Tattoos
As occult practices become more mainstream, tarot imagery is often a popular choice for tattoos.
Both The Sun and The Queen of Wands feature sunflowers in the original Rider Waite Smith deck.
In the context of a tarot tattoo, sunflowers represent youth and vitality, spirited energy, and joy.
Common Sunflower Tattoos
So you know you want a sunflower tattoo, but you aren’t sure where to start.
There’s so much beautiful imagery to choose from.
Let’s explore some common themes in our favorite sunflower tattoos.
If you are getting a sunflower tattoo for its solar imagery, getting a single flower with no stem is a great idea.
You’ll communicate your concept to the world, while focusing on the most beautiful part of the plant.
It’s a simple idea, so it can be a small piece if you’re not looking to take up much much.
This Idea’s Got Legs
However, if you’re celebrating the noble sunflower for its stature and ability to turn toward the sun, you may want to incorporate the stem into your piece.
A long, tall sunflower tattoo shows off the statuesque qualities of the plant.
Is one sunflower ever enough?
If you want something with a lot of visual pop, consider a bouquet of sunflowers that will never wilt.
As a bonus, if you pair them with other flowers, you can find blooms with compatible symbolism.
When you combine compatible herbs and plant life, it makes for a gorgeous personal statement.
Fields of Sunflowers
Are you looking to capture the optimism of hundreds of sunflowers, stretching their faces to the sun?
Maybe you’re a bit of a crunchy granola tree hugger.
If you love the outdoors, why not celebrate them with a sunflower field tattoo?
The yellow petals against a blue sky will make for maximum visual impact.
The Birds and The Bees
Another tattoo idea for the outdoor lover, you can customize your sunflower with your favorite critter.
If you have a kinship with bees, butterflies, or a particular feathered friend, the humble sunflower will welcome their company in your next piece.
Use Your Words
If your tattoo is an homage to a person, or an idea of great significance, make it clear so you’ll always remember.
Pairing a beautiful image with some lettering is a classic tattoo concept for a good reason.
Try a loved one’s name, or a passage from your favorite book.
Fly Me to the Moon
Do you have a dual nature?
Or maybe you’re a big fan of balance.
Pairing a sunflower with some lunar imagery can make a statement about the universal harmony between opposites.
A sunflower/moon design speaks to the yin and yang of it all.
Sunflower Tattoo Designs
Since its humble beginnings in the Americas, the sunflower has meant a lot to a lot of different people.
Getting a sunflower tattoo is grabbing onto a piece of history.
What design will you choose?
Check our sunflower tattoo gallery for some solar inspiration!
Black & Grey Sunflower Tattoos
Watercolor Sunflower Tattoos
Minimalist Sunflower Tattoos
American Traditional Tattoos
Realistic Sunflower Tattoos
Rectangular Sunflower Tattoos
Sunflower & Lettering Tattoos
Geometric Sunflower Tattoos
Single Needle Sunflower Tattoos
Illustrative Sunflower Tattoos
Sketchy Sunflower Tattoos
New School Tattoos
Graphic Sunflower Tattoos
Sunflower Tattoo Ideas
Small Sunflower Tattoos
Simple Sunflower Tattoos
Wrist Sunflower Tattoos
Ornamental Sunflower Tattoos
Sunflower Tattoos On The Shoulder
Sunflower Tattoo Artists You Should Follow
- Hibiscus Tattoos
- Peony Tattoos
- Orchid Tattoos
- Daffodil Tattoos
- Plumeria Tattoos
- Rose Tattoos
- Nature Tattoos
- Butterfly Tattoos
Sunflower Tattoos FAQ
Clytie was a water nymph who lived a happy, uncomplicated life.
Until one day, she caught a glimpse of Apollo, the sun god, with his golden chariot. She was so dazzled by his beauty and majesty; she sat watching for him all day. She became so fixated on seeing Apollo again that she began to waste away. Her body became thin, and her feet took root in the ground. After nine days and nine nights of pining, Clytie became a sunflower. This tragic romance is the Greek explanation for the sunflower’s fascination with the sun. If you want to remind yourself not to get wrapped up in unrequited passion, a sunflower tattoo may be just the ticket.
Because of their associations with the sun, many Witches and Wiccans use sunflowers for solar rituals. They may weave sunflower crowns for the summer solstice, or even decorate honeyed cakes with their yellow petals. The magical properties for a sunflower include fertility and abundance. Witches also use sunflowers to solidify bonds between friends and lovers, so they are a wonderful gift to someone you love.
As occult practices become more mainstream, tarot imagery is often a popular choice for tattoos. Both The Sun and The Queen of Wands feature sunflowers in the original Rider Waite Smith deck. In the context of a tarot tattoo, sunflowers represent youth and vitality, spirited energy, and joy.
1. Single Flower
2. One Sunflower with Stem
3. Sunflower Bouquet
4. Field of Sunflowers
5. Sunflower & Fauna
6. Sunflower & Lettering Tattoos
7. Sunflower & Crescent Moon Tattoos
1. Black And Grey Sunflower Tattoos
2. Tiny Sunflower Tattoos
3. Watercolor Tattoos
4. Minimalist Sunflower Tattoos
5. American Traditional Sunflower Tattoo
6. Realistic Tattoos
7. Rectangular Sunflower Tattoo
8. Sunflower + Lettering Tattoos
9. Geometric Sunflower Tattoos
10. Single Needle Tattoos
11. Neo-traditional Tattoos
12. Illustrative Tattoos
13. Sketchy Sunflower Tattoos
14. Contemporary Sunflower Tattoos