As I've been cleaning up the garden, I've decided to leave most of the sunflowers on the plants for the animals to find over the winter. So far I've had no birds or squirrels eat my sunflowers. Isn't that strange?
I've kept one head. I'm thinking of planting the seed next year. I'm curious to see what plants will grow. The head was from a Lemon Queen sunflower, which is a tall, pale yellow flower, but that was the only one of its variety to grow. My other sunflowers were MusicBox, which is a dwarf variety that has orange markings. Did they cross?
According to Susan Ashworth, sunflowers can be self-incompatible or not depending upon the variety. I don't know what Lemon Queen's behavior is. Since it was part of the Great Sunflower Project, I often watched the bees on the plants. I noticed that the bees that went to the Music Box flowers didn't fly up to the Lemon Queen. They tended to stay low to the ground. And likewise the ones that visited the Lemon Queen flowers flew in high and didn't go down to the ground. That doesn't mean that there was no pollen transfer. It just means that I never saw it. If the Lemon Queen variety is self-incompatible then the one plant couldn't have formed seeds with its own pollen and I would have a hybrid. But what would it look like?