I came across a lovely turnsole picture this morning and wanted to include it in this post from earlier this summer. Cheerful sunflowers do my heart good. 🙂


I came across a word today that’s new to me: turnsole.


A turnsole is a type of plant that turns with the movement of the sun, a sunflower being the most famous example. From Middle Frenchtournesol, the word literally means “turns toward the sun,” and was modeled after the synonymous Greek term heliotrope. As in French, when the word came into English in the 1300s it initially referred to the purple dye that came from a turnsole plant. Soon after, turnsole broadened in meaning to refer to all types of plant that turn with the sun.

I don’t know a lot about gardening or plants. I know very little, actually. I probably knew at some point in my life that that’s what a sunflower is, and I am aware of how plants lean and grow toward the light, but somehow this notion of turning with the movement…

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