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.
Van Gogh Sunflower Tattoos
Van Gogh is famous for his stunning depictions of sunflowers.
The famous artist once said “I find comfort in contemplating the sunflowers,” and his artwork proves that.
His studies of sunflowers remain some of the most famous of all time, and their beautiful brush strokes and stunning color combinations make for some beautiful sunflower tattoo artwork, many of which are decorated with Vincent’s quiet signature scrawled across the vase or between the sunflowers.
Van Gogh’s paintings also have beautiful symbolism for people who struggle with mental illness, as the quiet painter struggled for most of his life but was still able to create this beautiful art.
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.
Sunflower Bouquet Tattoos
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 Tattoos
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.
Butterfly & Sunflower Tattoos
Butterfly and sunflower tattoos have beautiful symbolism on both sides.
Butterflies have long been the symbol of new life and rebirth, and their choice as tattoo can symbolize a commitment or rebirth to life and happiness.
When paired with sunflowers, butterfly tattoos and sunflowers mean a commitment to happiness and joy, colorful beauty and stunning natural life, and good luck.
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, hummingbirds, or a particular feathered friend, the humble sunflower will welcome their company in your next piece.
Hummingbird and Sunflower Tattoos
Sunflower Tattoo with 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 lettering tattoo is a classic tattoo concept for a good reason.
Try a loved one’s name, or a passage from your favorite book.
You Are My Sunshine Sunflower Tattoos
“You Are My Sunshine” is a beautiful lyric and message from the popular song popularized by songwriter Jimmie Davis in the 1930’s.
Later performed and made famous by Johnny Cash, You Are My Sunshine speaks to the love and compassion that you can hold for people you love.
The song has become synonymous with sunflowers because of their sunny disposition and makes this tattoo combination popular with people because of the beautiful symbolism of sunshine and love.
Moon & Sunflower Tattoos
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.
Single Sunflower Tattoos
Solitary sunflower tattoos are often a beautiful way to express the strength and individuality of the self.
Having a single sunflower tattooed on you is a great way to express and represent your belief in your internal strength, power, and abilities.
Sunflowers are statuesque, tall, and powerful plants, and even one on its own is a stunning depiction of bravery, strength, and meaning.
Skull & Sunflower Tattoos
Skull and sunflower tattoos are a beautiful tattoo design with special significance to many.
Skull tattoos have long been symbols of death and power while sunflowers represent life, sun, and vibrancy.
The combination of skulls and sunflowers creates a beautiful and impactful statement on the dual nature of life and death, vibrancy and darkness, power and grace.
Skull and sunflower tattoos are great Gothic or black-work tattoo design options for anyone to enjoy.
Lion Sunflower Tattoos
Lion sunflower tattoos are a growing local trend that combines nature’s most powerful and statuesque predator with one of nature’s most statuesque and beautiful plants.
Lions are graceful and powerful predators with flowing golden manes that visually have a lot in common with stunning sunflower petals.
Lion tattoos have been known to represent power and strength.
When paired with the graceful and sun-soaked sunflower, your lion and sunflower tattoo could symbolize a beautiful combination of strength, beauty, power, grace, and sun.
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
Black and grey sunflower tattoos are original and unique in that they rob the sunflower of its most significant style: the color of the sunflower.
Black and grey sunflower tattoos in modern and minimalist tattooing styles represent a preference for the realist beauty of sunflowers, even without colors.
Having a black and grey sunflower tattoo could symbolize your understanding that appearance isn’t what makes something real as well as a reflection of your appreciation of form and design over color.
Watercolor Sunflower Tattoos
Watercolor sunflower tattoos are often designed in surrealist or abstract sunflower designs with beautiful wide color designs and more delicate line-work or abstract work on top of it.
A sunflower in a watercolor tattoo style represents your appreciation for the abstract nature of life, a deep desire to color outside the lines and to play with the rules of art and beauty to create a personalized and colorful memorial to the colorful and vibrant sunflower.
Black-work sunflower tattoos often feature outlines and details that go above and beyond many other sunflower tattoo designs.
An incredibly detailed black-work tattoo might represent your love for order and detail in life, as black-work is often detailed and intricate and sunflowers are known for their representation of life and sun.
This could also be seen as a loyalty tattoo, as black-work is one of the more traditional styles of tattooing and sunflowers represent loyalty and longevity.
A black-work sunflower might depict a loyalty to traditional and beautiful tattoo work.
Minimalist Sunflower Tattoos
Minimalist sunflower tattoos are a beautiful yet simple homage to the finer things in life.
A sunflower represents adoration and longevity, and minimalist design is a well-loved and long-enduring design classic.
A minimalist sunflower tattoo is a simple and straightforward depiction of your beautiful sunflower tattoo that could represent an adorable and simple beauty that’s found in both sunflowers and minimalist design.
Traditional Sunflower Tattoos
American traditional tattoo styles are known for their bold and brash coloring and big lines and shading designs.
It makes sense, then, that the American traditional tattoo style would make a great way to depict sunflowers.
With bright colors, bold lines, and stunning shading and detailing, an Old School sunflower tattoo depicts a love for the traditional and stunning sunflower in all its genuine and authentic beauty.
Realistic Sunflower Tattoos
Realistic sunflower tattoos are incredibly detailed pieces of art that often require many sessions to outline and create in all their beauty.
These masterpieces of technical art often look as though they’re coming to life on your skin, and they could signify an unadulterated appreciation for the real and beautiful things in life.
Realistic sunflower tattoos continue to create beautiful statement tattoo pieces that signify a love for life, color, brightness, and happiness.
Rectangular Sunflower Tattoos
Rectangular sunflower tattoos are a great way to depict snapshots or pieces of your favorite sunflower artworks.
Whether it’s a famous painting or a photograph or a screen-grab from a movie or a passing shot of sunflowers, a rectangular sunflower tattoo is a great way to grab a moment or a piece in time of your favorite sunflower media and put it to life on your skin.
Geometric Sunflower Tattoos
Geometric tattoos are beautiful representations of line-work, order, and design.
A geometric sunflower tattoo is a stunning example of the beauty of the natural order, as sunflowers represent growing upward toward the sun, just as plants should, and geometric shapes are ordered mathematically and correctly, making them both symbols of natural and mathematical order.
Single Needle Sunflower Tattoos
Delicate single needle sunflower tattoos are works of patience and delicate artwork that look beautiful wherever they’re applied.
With a single needle tattoo design, your artwork becomes a stunning and intricate detail that stands out against your skin thanks to its delicate lining and designs, making it a great representation of patience, detail, and admiration for the artistic nature of sunflowers.
Neo-traditional Sunflower Tattoos
Neo-traditional tattoos are a beautiful expansion on the traditional tattoo styles of old.
Newer and more modern traditional tattoo styles allow you to take bolder and brighter color and illustrative patterns to your sunflower design, blending realism and Neo-traditional tattooing elements to create a stunning depiction of life and vigor in a modern and contemporary tattooing style.
Illustrative Sunflower Tattoos
Illustrative sunflower tattoos are beautiful for many because it seems as though they’ve just come from the pages of a book.
These beautiful tattoos look realistic and artistic at the same time, coming to life as genuinely as a painting or crayon drawing but still retaining unique and individual elements of the beauty of natural sunflowers and leaves.
Sketchy Sunflower Tattoos
Sunflowers have been the subjects of popular art for a long time, and sketchy sunflower tattoos are the perfect depiction of this trend.
Sketch tattoos often help depict the beauty and realism of sunflower designs while still conveying the life and beauty of sunflowers with a personal and hand-sketched design feel to them.
New School Tattoos
New school tattoos often bring an irreverent and colorful modern design to classic tattoo styles, and new school sunflower tattoos are no different.
Expect New School tattoos to boast colorful and realistic design elements as well as illustrative style shading and watercolor style backgrounds.
With New School designs, you’ll find your sunflower design to bring a new twist on life and loyalty.
Graphic Sunflower Tattoos
Graphic sunflower tattoos are often carefully constructed tattoos that blend elements of geometric design, black and white shading, realistic and graphic design styles.
Graphic sunflower tattoos combine an honest realism with the stunning and sun-inspired significance of the sunflower.
A graphic sunflower tattoo symbolizes beauty, patience, and an appreciation for detail as well as a stunning appreciation for vibrancy and life.
Sunflower Tattoo Ideas
Small Sunflower Tattoos
Small sunflower tattoos are often a beautiful and personal way to express your love for sunflowers and their natural beauty.
A small and delicate tattoo in a location that only you can see or that’s significant to you could represent that your sunflower is a personal reminder to you of strength, life, and beauty that you hold within you.
Simple Sunflower Tattoos
Simple sunflower tattoos are all about finding beauty in the basics of design.
Sunflower tattoo designs can be very intricate or very simple and straightforward.
Having a sunflower design that’s simple, basic, and minimalist helps you find the beauty in plain and simple art that’s still lovely and meaningful.
Purple Sunflower Tattoos
Sunflower tattoos have long been considered a symbol of love and affection.
Traditional colors of love and beauty, like purple, make a great pairing with sunflowers.
Purple tattoos have also been known to represent royalty, so a purple sunflower tattoo can also represent royal love or affection for others.
Mandala Sunflower Tattoos
Mandala sunflower tattoos have tremendous significance in both their style and content design.
Mandalas symbolize a universal life journey, or the idea that the circle of life is never ending and everything is in everything and is ordered just as it has always been.
Combining the mandala shape inside a sunflower symbolizes the idea that the life of a sunflower, like life in general, is never ending and beautiful and continues on in many different ways.
Sunflower Tattoo Sleeve
Sunflower tattoo sleeves are beautiful ways to depict many sunflowers at once.
If you want to do an entire bouquet of sunflowers or combine multiple different sunflower tattoo styles at once, a tattoo sleeve is definitely the best option for you.
Sunflower Tattoos for Men
Sunflower tattoos for men have been known to boast bold colors and external designs as well as large flower heads and plenty of petal designs.
Expect sunflower tattoos for men to have more traditional or Neo-traditional design elements built into it.
Sunflower Tattoo Placement
Sunflower Tattoos on Shoulder
Sunflower tattoos on shoulders are another pretty and popular combination because of the expanse of skin that your sunflowers can intertwine through.
Sunflower tattoos often take the form of vines or branches spreading across and throughout the shoulder, making it a great place to get your tattoo done.
Sunflower Tattoos on Shoulder Blade
Sunflower tattoos on shoulder blades are an elegant selection for your tattoo placement because the location allows for larger tattoo placement and head design.
Shoulder blade sunflower tattoos can take the nature of full sunflowers or full bouquets for a beautiful sunflower homage.
Sunflower Tattoos on Wrist
Sunflower tattoos on the wrist are delicate and gentle, a common tattoo location for women.
You will usually see sunflower tattoos on the wrist combined with words, which allows you to combine your tattoo with a quote or passage that’s significant to you.
Sunflower Tattoos on Ankle
Sunflower tattoos on the ankle are a great way to put delicate sunflower tattoos in a place that’s more easily concealed if you need to hide your tattoo on a regular basis.
Sunflower tattoos are tucked into ankles for elegant and personal details that make your new ink come to life.
Sunflower Tattoos Behind the Ear
Sunflower tattoos behind the ear are a great way to hold the significance of sunflowers close to yourself in a personal and meaningful way.
Sunflower tattoos behind the ear are little reminders of life, vigor, and longevity that can help you stay grounded in your appreciation of beauty and the self.
Sunflower Tattoos on Elbow
Sunflower tattoos on the elbow can be a cheerful reminder for yourself to keep positive and excited about life and to keep yourself centered on the good things.
Elbow tattoos are challenging in terms of pain and placement, so to get a sunflower tattoo might mean that it’s time to work through the pain and focus on the good things in life.
Sunflower Tattoo on Arm
Sunflower tattoos on your arm can mean many different things depending on the size and placement of the tattoo you choose to get.
A full sleeve tattoo might mean that you’re bold and unafraid of pain or what others think, while a half sleeve tattoo might show a bit more demure of an approach to tattooing.
The more delicate single sunflower on the arm might mean special significance to the sunflower design.
Sunflower Tattoos on Thigh
Placing a sunflower tattoo on the thing is a great choice to put sunflowers because there’s a lot more surface area to get in with details and space.
The flower petals can expand across the leg and the stem can travel down towards the knee if needed.
The thigh symbolizes a large tattoo of significant importance, meaning that the themes of happiness and positivity represented by sunflowers are especially valuable to that person.
Sunflower Tattoos on Leg
Leg tattoos can be a full-on declaration of prominent passion for tattoos and for the themes or symbols that are being tattooed.
A bouquet of sunflowers or images that wrap around the entire leg symbolize commitment to sunflowers, beauty, and natural happiness, as well as a commitment to tattoo and body ink art.
Sunflower Tattoos on Foot
Feet tattoos are often places where people (especially women) will get tattoos commemorating loved ones.
A sunflower foot tattoo is a beautiful representation of love and life, and when combined with a quote or phrase in memory of someone passed can be a stunning tribute to that special someone.
Sunflower Tattoos on Neck
Sunflower tattoos on the neck are a huge statement that shows that a person loves life so much they are basically without fear.
Neck tattoos are big, statement pieces that send a clear message about the person’s belief in ink and a commitment to their individual style.
A neck tattoo about sunflowers symbolizes a bold and passionate belief in life and reaching towards the sun, the sky, and the good things in life.
Sunflower Tattoos on Forearm
Sunflower tattoos on forearms are a sign that the person with the tattoo wants everyone to see their art and passion.
Forearm tattoos are becoming more and more popular as people continue to add beautiful artwork to their bodies.
Forearm sunflower tattoos can take up more space and capture many different artwork styles, so a sunflower tattoo placed on your forearm is a versatile and beautiful piece of art in the perfect placement to show off for many people to see.
Sunflower Tattoo Artists