(Dave Lyons)

The sunflowers are in full bloom at McKee-Beshers in Montgomery County this week. Unlike spring flowers or fickle cherry blossoms, sunflowers bloom every year in mid-July, and they are stunning this week.

The McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area is near Poolesville, Md., a 30-minute drive from the District. Sunflowers are planted by hand each year to attract game birds. Deer, wild turkey and more than 200 species of birds have been known to wander the park, which is alongside the Potomac River. Roadside parking is available, but the park is adjacent to the C&O Canal towpath, so biking from the District is a good option for a nice day.

This year’s blooms made it through despite roller coaster weather. After a dry spring, torrential rain took over in May and June. Dulles International Airport ended May with nearly 9 inches of rain, which is more than 4 inches above average. It was a month of flooding and standing water in the Washington region, which can be just as unfavorable to plants as drought. Then, just as the sunflowers began to bloom, dry conditions took over again.

From our perspective, the sunflowers look great in the photos readers have shared with us over the past few days.


(@dccitygirl on Twitter/Instagram)

Quinn Mitchell, 11, walks through a field of blossoming sunflowers at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, Maryland on July 6, 2018. The flowers are planted annually but lack of rain is showing in many of the flowers withering petals. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

(Ganesh Panneer)

(Ganesh Panneer)

(Martin Radigan)

Quinn Mitchell, 11, walks through a field of blossoming sunflowers at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, Maryland on July 6, 2018. The flowers are planted annually but lack of rain is showing in many of the flowers withering petals. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)