Heliotropism is the movement of plant parts throughout the day with the direction of the sun. Working in the greenhouse for the past month has made me particularly aware of this slow motion plant dance. The sunflower babies pictured below twist their whole bodies as their leaves follow the sun from east to west everyday. My father reminded me of a William Blake poem about heliotropism: Ah, Sunflower.
Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;
Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!