The sunflower may not be one of the most mainstream tattoo choices, but there is still some interesting symbolic meaning to it. To the ancient Incas, the sunflower was linked to the sun god. The flower was a symbol of worship, glory and gratitude.
The ancient Greeks also had a legend regarding the sunflower. It was told that once upon a time, there was young maiden named Clytie who was deeply in love with the sun god, Helios. Day by day, she gazed upon the sun, her love unreciprocated, until she turned into a bright yellow flower with petals that resemble sun rays. In this sense, the sunflower can be a symbol of longing and infatuation.
Some Native American tribes practice the custom of placing bowls of sunflower seeds on the graves of the recently departed as a food offering for the journey ahead. Based on this tradition, a sunflower can be an excellent memorial tattoo dedicated to a departed loved one.