Published: April 3, 2023

The University Libraries are handing out red sunflower seed packets to the CU Boulder community on April 20 and April 24 from 12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the East Entrance of Norlin Library as part of a community gardening project called One Seed. The project invites you to grow sunflowers and learn about their connection to CU Boulder. 

Seed packets are also available starting April 20 at the Ask a Librarian desk on the 2nd floor of Norlin Library and each of the service desks at the Business Library, the Earth Sciences & Map Library, the Gemmill Engineering, Math & Physics Library and the Music Library.

Learn about the red sunflower’s unique history

One Seed explores the history of the Cockerell Sunflower, a red sunflower native to Boulder. The Cockerell Sunflower was discovered in 1910 by Wilmatte Cockerell, a high school biology teacher. With husband Theodore Cockerell, a Zoology professor at CU Boulder from 1904 to 1934, the pair cultivated the plant together. 

Today the Cockerell Sunflower can be found throughout the world. 

The University Libraries Archives holds 60 linear feet of physical archival materials from the Cockerells, including the original red sunflower—now nearly a century old. Elements of the T.D.A. Cockerell Collection have been digitized and can be found via the CU Digital Library.

Explore the collection online    Visit the collection in-person