City of Raleigh did not plant the summer sunflower field at Dorothea Dix Park in 2020. However, we are working to keep up to date on other sunflower opportunities in the Triangle, so please read on for a list of where to find fields of sunflowers.
Here is a statement from City of Raleigh:
For the past two years, the 5-acre field of sunflowers has drawn thousands of visitors from across the city, county and beyond. As summer approaches this year, social distancing is still recommended and there is uncertainty around when mass gatherings should resume.
With the health and safety of the community as top priority, and no way to limit the number of people visiting the iconic Raleigh sunflowers at any given time, the decision was made not to move forward with planting this year.
Dix Park’s annual SunFest summer festival, planned for July, is also canceled.
Kersey Valley Sunflower Extravaganza
Over 350,000 sunflowers have been planted on the rolling hills of Kersey Valley Attractions, 1615 Kersey Valley Road, Archdale. General admission is $15, and that includes one stem to take home. Additional stems are $2 each. The fields are in bloom now (September 18th) and will be through mid-October. You need to bookyour time in advance, and the choices are sunrise (7 a.m.), Midday (1:30 p.m.), and sunset (5:30 p.m.) Archdale is about an hour west of points in the Triangle.
Phillips Farms of Cary
Phillips Farms of Cary, 6701 Good Hope Church Road, Cary, has announced that their Sunflower Experience will start September 12th, and will be happening every day until the end of their sunflower season.
They’ll have two sessions, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. They’ll be limiting the number of people in the fields to 250, so it’s advised that you purchase your tickets in advance.
Tickets are $5, with free admission for kids under age 6. Professional photographers are welcome to use the sunflower fields for photo shoots, but every person needs to pay for admission. There are no additional charges, though.
Hubb’s Farm, at 10276 Hwy 421 North, Clinton, is sharing more than 3 acres of sunflower this fall. There will be opportunities to take pictures and to pick sunflowers. Check back soon! Timed tickets are either $5 or $10, depending on the day and time. Photographer passes are $25/hour. Buy timed tickets here.
Firefly Farm, at 4911 Hunt Road, Hillsborough, is a small family-owned farm that grows a wide variety of flowers, as well as vegetables. You can visit and either buy pre-picked flowers, or you can pick your own.
They plant sunflowers in a staggered fashion so they will continue to bloom all summer and into the fall, in bursts. Please stay tuned for the next batch of flowers!
Firefly Farm is holding a fun event every Saturday in October, Witch’s Haunted Barn, and they expect the sunflower field to be in bloom during that time.
Sunflower Fields in the Triangle that have ended for 2020
Pace Family Farms
Pace Family Farms, at 12701 Buffalo Road, Clayton, grows sunflowers, as well as a large variety of vegetables. Every year they hold a Sunflower Day (or days) when you can come and cut sunflowers to bring home, for $1 a stem. You can also take pictures in the sunflower fields. No professional photography sessions are allowed during Sunflower Days.
NOTE: Sunflower Days are over for 2020.
Ken’s Korny Corn Maze
Ken’s Korny Corn Maze, 3175 Benson Road, Garner, has a sunflower field for the first time! You are welcome to look at and take pictures of the 2 1/2 acres of sunflowers. Hours are Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 (free for ages 4 and under.) The entry fee includes 1 cut sunflower and unlimited photos. Any additional sunflowers will be $1. each. Cash only. Note: the corn maze is not open yet, but will be in the fall.
Bring a container to put your cut sunflowers in (water will be available) and a good pair of clippers.
Dates remaining: August 27th, 28th, and 29th, and September 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Dates are subject to change, depending on available flowers.
Dogwood Farms is a flower farm at 8096 Belews Creek Road, Belews Creek, in Forsyth County. This is northwest of Greensboro, so it’s a bit of a drive from the Triangle, but they take their sunflowers really seriously here!
The farm is open every day until sunflower season ends, from 9 a.m. to sunset.
NOTE: Sunflower season is over at Dogwood Farms and it’s closed until fall.
It costs $5 to go into the fields. Age 8 and under are free, age 65 and older are $3, and veterans and active duty military members get in for free.
Sunflowers are $1 a stem and wild flowers are $3 fo ra half dozen and $5 for a dozen. This includes wrapping and cutting the flowers.
Professional photographers must pay a $25 per hour fee.
In addition to the sunflower days that are taking place every day during sunflower season, Dogwood Farms is hosting Freedom Flower Event on 4th of July weekend.
On July 4th and 5th, from 9 a.m. to dark on both days, celebrate Independence Day on the farm. Besides posing with flowers and buying stems, there will be vendors and local craftspeople.
There will be a contest for the craziest patriotic outfit. If you show up wearing anything with the American flag on it, get $1 off admission.
Hill Ridge Farms
Hill Ridge Farms, at 703 Tarboro Road, Youngsville (about a half hour north of Raleigh), is hosting Pick Your Own Sunflower Days from July 30th to August 23rd, 2020. Each day there are two sessions: 6:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
They will be closed from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.
There are more than 10 varieties of sunflowers to enjoy.
Admission is $20 per vehicle.
Photographers, both amateur and professional, are permitted to take pictures.
If you would like to pick your own sunflowers, upon arrival, you will pre-purchase a sunflower card showing how many you would like to pick.
- Minimum 1/2 dozen for $5
- A dozen for $10
- Additional sunflowers can be purchased in increments of 6 for $5
You must provide your own clippers and a bag or container. If you’re driving a short distance home, your flowers will be fine, but if you have a long distance you should put them in water in a container. There will be water stations at the farm.
No reservations. Cash only.
There are no public restrooms available.
NOTE: The sunflower season ended August 23rd at Hill Ridge Farms
North Carolina Museum of Art
North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, remains closed for now, but the Museum Park is open from dawn to dusk every day. Currently (as of August 24th) the sunflower field is in bloom!
Zinnias are also in bloom, as well as other pollinator-friendly plants, so you can expect to see plenty of butterflies.
You’re free to come and take pictures — there’s no charge. Just please stay on the paths, and don’t disturb the flowers.
Note: The sunflower fields are at the North Carolina Museum of Art have passed their peak (as of September 8th) and are on their way out.
Lazy Hound Farm
Lazy Hound Farm, at 207 Davis Road, Zebulon, has a sunflower field starting to bloom now, as of August 23rd. In a couple of weeks it should be great to visit. You can visit the sunflower field as part of your visit to Lazy Hound Farm, which costs $8. Or, at least for Labor Day Weekend (Thursday, September 3rd, through Sunday, September 6th) they’re offering a sunflower hayride for $5, and that includes one stem. Additional stems are $1 each. They also have a corn maze, hayrides, a flashlight corn maze at night, tractor train rides, animals to visit and much more. There’s a small extra charge for the corn maze and hayride. Read all about Lazy Hound Farm.
Note: As of early September, Sunflower season was winding down at Lazy Hound Farm.
15 Fun Sunflower Facts
There’s something magical about a sunflower, and people can’t resist being drawn to them. Here are some interesting sunflower facts!
- They are native to America.
- They need 6 to 8 hours of sun a day.
- They “keep their eye” on the sun. Young blossoms, in a behavior called “heliotropism,” will follow the sun during the day.
- The French word for sunflower is “tournesol,” which literally means “turns with the sun.”
- Mature sunflowers face east.
- The tallest sunflower on record was over 30 feet tall, but your typical tall sunflower reaches 12 to 16 feet.
- Dwarf sunflowers generally stay under 3 feet.
- The sunflower’s head is actually made of thousands of smaller flowers.
- U.S. astronaut Don Pettit brought sunflower seeds into space in 2012, and blogged about the the gardening process.
- Sunflowers have been used in foods, medicines, dyes and oils.
- You can use sunflowers as a homemade scrubbing pad.
- Not all sunflowers are yellow. There are also red and purple varieties.
- Sunflowers can self-pollinate if no bees are around to transfer pollen to the stigma. The stigma can twist around to reach its own pollen, and in that case, will produce seeds that grow into plants identical to the one they came from.
- There are about 70 species of sunflowers.
- Sunflowers are sometimes used for biofuel.