For just a few weeks these glorious fields (pollinated by local bees) dazzle the senses of thousands of spectators. Typically grown each year sometime between September and December, the life of these sunflower crops is short-lived as they are harvested soon after reaching maturity. The DuPont Pioneer sunflowers span 20 acres of prime Hawaii agricultural land amongst sweet onions, fresh corn and fall melons. Typically, the hardy yet joyous flowers take 45-60 days to bloom.
• There are two types of sunflowers – ones that produce confection seeds for eating and sunnies that produce cooking oil. All of the sunflowers grown at the Waialua farm are for oil.
• The most popular market for cooking oil sunflower seeds is in Europe, notably Ukraine and Russia.
• One sunflower can produce up to half a cup of cooking oil.
• Sunflower buds will follow the sun as it rises and sets, but once the flower blossoms it will only face east.
• All money raised from the sunflower tour parking fee benefits: Waialua Bullpups Pop Warner Football Team, Waialua High School Girls Softball Team, Waialua Little League and Waialua High School Project Graduation.