Darn it all to heck. I finally got an answer from Trader Joe’s. The sunflowers were dyed. I so wanted to believe they weren’t, and had so many reasons to believe they were real (the leaf patterning’s similarity to Hopi red dye amaranth, which I’ve grown from seed and know isn’t dyed, the darker coloring only appearing in the outer rim’s petals and not the center, etc). But alas, I was wrong. Good on you, Ruth & co. They are actually sunflowers, though, and not marigolds, calendulas or whatever.
I promise to show you dyeing with amaranth up close and personal this year, though. Lots of volunteers coming up from last year’s plants!