Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 19, 2018

Schnickers may have tallest sunflower in town

Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: Karyn Spory The Schnickers may have the tallest sunflower in the neighborhood. Richard Schnicker recieved sunflower seeds in “Our Iowa Magazine” this spring. The Schnickers pose in front of their 12-foot sunflower.

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News


Can you grow the tallest sunflower in your neighborhood?

Dick Schnicker’s answer is “yes.”

This spring, Schnicker received a copy of “Our Iowa Magazine” and tucked inside, with an article asking if the reader could grow the tallest sunflower in their neighborhood, was a package of five sunflower seeds.

“I planted two,” said Dick inside he and his wife’s duplex on East Mapleleaf Drive. One of the seeds flourished.

“I think it got a little hail damage during that last storm,” Schnicker said as he reached out and gently grasped one of the tattered leaves.

Schnicker “reckons” the sunflower is over 12 foot tall. “I don’t have a latter tall enough,” he said of measuring the flora.

Schnicker did pull out his tape measure, which fully extended runs 10 foot and the flower’s bloom was still several feet taller. Schnicker estimates the head of the sunflower is at least a foot in diameter.

The sunflower, which can be seen looming over his home from Mapleleaf Drive, is a Russian Mammoth. The seeds came from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah.

After the first plant began sprouting, Schnicker planted another seed, leaving him with two more of the mammoth breed. He would like to gather more seeds from the plant, but fears he’ll have to fight off the birds to get them.

When asked if he has the tallest sunflower in town, he chuckles and gives a little shrug. “I don’t know, but it sure is big.”

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