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165 Sunflower Tattoo Designs to Brighten Up Your Day

by Sherri Owens

An incredibly popular choice, sunflower tattoo designs are endless. From black and grey to bright colors and simple to detailed, there are many choices available.

As an artist who has designed countless sunflower tattoos, I can show you the various categories of tattoos while helping you narrow down your options.

Sunflower Tattoo Ideas

Here are the top categories for sunflower tattoos:

Black and Grey Sunflower Tattoos

You may think most tattoos without color are black and white. However, when it comes to a traditional sunflower tattoo, this ink is more likely to be black and grey.

The black outline combined with the grey shading helps create a clearer distinction between the elements. A black and grey sunflower tattoo also looks more artistic.

There are different levels of shading for black and grey, as you can see in the images below. The lighter shading is more reminiscent of a yellow sunflower.

The darker shading, on the other hand, moves the sunflower tattoo into a different territory. It's more brooding and dramatic. Due to this, a greater level of shading can alter the meaning of your sunflower tattoo design.

sunflower tattoo with shading

Image by @deka_tattoo via Instagram

sunflower hand tattoo

Image by @timbecktattoos via Instagram

sunflower tattoo with thick lines

Image by @goshcallie via Instagram

Birth flower and zodiac tattoo

Image by @whelantattoo via Instagram

sunflower and signature tattoo

Image by @erinsanchez_tattoos via Instagram

grey sunflower tattoo

Image by @efka_tattooart via Instagram

Sunflower tattoo in black and grey

Image by @btn_tattoos via Instagram

delicate sunflower tattoo on the hand

Image by @nicole.tattoos_ via Instagram

detailed sunflower tattoo

Image by @hells_kitchen21 via Instagram

Ukraine’s national flower tattoo

Image by @Ukraine’s national flower via Instagram

Talk to your tattoo artist to discover just how much black and grey shading should be incorporated into your sunflower tattoo to get the desired result.

Black and White Sunflower Tattoos

Of course, if you prefer traditional sunflower tattoos, you might want a black and white one.

Well, you're in luck as there are plenty of black and white sunflower tattoo ideas to borrow from.

If you're looking for a simple sunflower tattoo, this is a great option for you. It includes a minimum number of details but it's quite cute all the same.

sunflower tattoo in black

Image by @tron1968 via Instagram

These tattoos have more detail but the distinction between the black outline and skin is notable.

simple single sunflower tattoo

Image by @abucketofrichard via Instagram

bold black sunflowers tattoo

Image by @chantre1le via Instagram

sunflower within a heart tattoo

Image by @annie_tattoos via Instagram

sketch like sunflower tattoo on the leg

Image by @joe.thefloraltattooist via Instagram

black work sunflower tattoo

Image by @bumbleknee_ via Instagram

This is technically a black and white sunflower tattoo, but there is a twist. The leaves are colored in, while only the sunflower has no color. Interestingly enough, it helps the sunflower stand out the same way if the petals were yellow.

sunflower tattoo with coloured leaves

Image by @samantha_beedie via Instagram

Colored Sunflower Tattoos

Of course, there is nothing quite like a vibrant yellow sunflower, with bright yellow petals. Color can bring your sunflower tattoo to life.

There is more than one shade of yellow ink to use in your sunflower design. A pale yellow sunflower tattoo has a more retro feel. This also lends it a more delicate appearance.

Such a shade is a good option for your sunflower tattoo design if you want a more subtle piece.

sunflower back tattoo

Image by @geraldschifone via Instagram

coloured sunflower tattoo on the back of the hand

Image by @katiextattoos via Instagram

coloured sunflower tattoo with Dad wording

Image by @inkbyheather_ via Instagram

sunflower and puzzle tattoo in colour

Image by @emafociani via Instagram

subtle sunflower tattoo

Image by @yezottt via Instagram

tattoo of three sunflowers

Image by @cmoore04 via Instagram

sunflower tattoo on the back

Image by @mariloillustration via Instagram

single sunflower tattoo

Image by @melicannone.tattoo via Instagram

large sunflower tattoo on the back

Image by @halloweenink via Instagram

If you want your sunflower tattoo to symbolize happiness and positivity, you'll probably decide to go with bright colors. This can make for some truly stunning sunflower tattoos.

The only thing to be mindful of here is that bright colors can fade pretty quickly. Not to mention, you're more likely to notice the fading as well. Due to this, you will probably need touch-ups more often. To figure out just how often you want this, speak to your tattoo artist ahead of time.

sunflower landscape tattoo

Image by @cat_._kat via Instagram

sunflower tattoo below the calf

Image by @aleja_tattoos via Instagram

pretty sunflower tattoo

Image by @cat_._kat via Instagram

large colourful sunflower tattoo on the hand

Image by @omegatattoostudio via Instagram

sunflower drawing tattoo

Image by @jinkimtattoos via Instagram

sunflower tattoo across the back

Image by @peppesantoro1tattoos via Instagram

Watercolor Sunflower Tattoos

A watercolor sunflower tattoo is a great way to reinforce sunflowers as a positive symbol but do something a little different at the same time.

Keep in mind that the watercolor sunflower tattoo can mean different things to different artists. So, it's a good idea to take a specific image to your tattoo artist.

Don't worry, here are some watercolor sunflower tattoo ideas you can take inspiration from:

sunflower tattoo with watercolour effect

Image by @pablo_ortiz_tattoo via Instagram

artistic sunflower tattoo

Image by @martapoisontattoo via Instagram

pink and blue tattoo with a sunflower

Image by @uhhhhtaco via Instagram

detailed sunflower tattoo with colour

Image by @hollyridingtattoo via Instagram

sketchy style sunflower tattoo

Image by @mich_michelemor via Instagram

geometric watercolour sunflower tattoo

Image by @reverie_tattoo_studio via Instagram

yellow floral tattoo

Image by @ycoiado.ink via Instagram

sunflower and freesias tattoo in vibrant colours

Image by @ophelia.bespoke.tattooing via Instagram

watercolour sunflower tattoo

Image by @sheilapegaso via Instagram

colourful floral tatoo on the hand

Image by @alitattoos via Instagram

minimalistic sunflower vase tattoo with a splash of colour

Image by @pati.costa.ink via Instagram

Small Sunflower Tattoos

A lot of sunflower tattoos seem pretty big. As they are meant to be symbols of joy, most people prefer getting large images or a full sleeve sunflower tattoo. If this isn't your thing, this don't worry!

You can find small sunflower tattoo or even tiny sunflower tattoo designs that can be subtle yet beautiful.

Looking for a small sunflower tattoo that boasts a simple design? It doesn't get any smaller or cuter than these delicate sunflower tattoos:

small sunflower tattoo above the ankle

Image by @ddingdong_tat2 via Instagram

line drawing sunflower tattoo

Image by @thedayafter_tat2 via Instagram

Want to throw some color into the mix for your tiny sunflower tattoos? Here's how to do this:

small sunflower tattoo with a bit of yellow

Image by @mizy_tattoo via Instagram

petite colourful sunflower tattoo

Image by @sibylles.shop via Instagram

small sunflower tattoo with black outline

Image by @pioj_ink24 via Instagram

sunflower tattoo without the stem

Image by @autumn.tattoos via Instagram

small realistic looking sunflower tattoo

Image by @indra.rollover via Instagram

cute sunflower tattoo

Image by @yanyee_tattoo via Instagram

Of course, the great thing about a small sunflower tattoo is that it can be placed anywhere. Check out this ear sunflower tattoo:

sunflower tattoo inside the ear

Image by @jiy.u_ink via Instagram

In case you prefer a behind-the-ear sunflower tattoo, here is one that may work for you:

sunflower tattoo behind the ear

Image by @sougirassol11 via Instagram

If you think an ear tattoo is too unusual, a wrist or ankle sunflower tattoo may be a better option.

As you can see with these tiny sunflower tattoo ideas, you don't have to choose a minimalistic design if you don't want to. Your sunflower tattoo can be as detailed or as bold and bright as you want.

Realistic Sunflower Tattoos

Most sunflower tattoos look fairly authentic. However, there are some designs that take things to the next level.

If you prefer a realistic sunflower tattoo, there a few designs you can check out.

Keep in mind that you will need a really talented artist to pull off the perfect, realistic sunflower tattoo look.

realistic sunflower tattoo

Image by @winnie1019 via Instagram

small colored sunflower tattoo

Image by @tattooist_yun via Instagram

sunflower tattoo with petals falling

Image by @palette.tt via Instagram

neat sunflower tattoo

Image by @zihong_tattoo via Instagram

sunflower tattoo on the hand

Image by @duhitzkash via Instagram

large sunflower, and rose tattoo in colour

Image by @lonewolftattoostudioak via Instagram

detailed sunflower tattoo

Image by @lonewolftattoostudioak via Instagram

Getting the yellow petals right on these realistic sunflower tattoo designs is only half the battle. It is just as - if not more - important to pay attention to the disk of flowers at the center of the sunflower head. This is what can take a simple sunflower tattoo to the next level.

Adding realistic green leaves to the ink is also a good way to make the image look more authentic.

You don't need to stick to a colorful design. Just take a look at this gorgeous black and grey design. The attention to detail and shading is absolutely exquisite.

Also, if you look a little closer, you will notice that in addition to the black and grey, there are little flecks of white. This helps to add dimension to the tattoo and to pull it all together.

black, grey and white realistic sunflower tattoo

Image by @rion_tattoo via Instagram

Sunflower Sketch Tattoos

Maybe you want to go in the complete opposite direction of a realistic sunflower tattoo. You might want your sunflower tattoo to look like a work of art - literally.

Well, this is why you should consider getting a sunflower sketch tattoo. There isn't one specific definition for this kind of sunflower tattoo.

It could mean a sunflower tattoo that looks like it has been drawn. Or, it could be a more abstract approach. In any case, here are some examples and options to give you a better idea of what to pick.

If you're looking for a cute and simple sunflower tattoo, here are a few to choose from:

sunflower sketch tattoo in black

Image by @thursdaygurl_ via Instagram

cartoonish sunflower in a pot tattoo

Image by @tmillard.tattoo via Instagram

sunflower sketch tattoo with a little colour

Image by @gigi_tattooer via Instagram

Want a more professional look to your sunflower tattoo? Here are some great examples:

black line work sunflower tattoo

Image by @ginko.ink via Instagram

grey sunflower tattoo

Image by @flow_tattoo_toronto via Instagram

sunflower tattoo on the wrist

Image by @0.18min_ via Instagram

If you prefer an abstract approach to your sunflower tattoo, check out this black and grey artwork. Not only is the technique unique but it also gives the sunflower a slightly dark and stormy look - very unlike what you would expect from a traditional sunflower tattoo.

black and grey sunflower tattoo

Image by @jacob.ink via Instagram

Here is a really interesting sunflower tattoo idea - it almost looks like a child's drawing, except that the lines are cleaner and crisper. What really makes these tattoos stand out is that the colors and technique create a crayon-like effect.

yellow and green sunflower tattoo

Image by @tattooist_wugi via Instagram

coloured line work sunflower tattoo

Image by @sponge.poke via Instagram

If you would like a foot sunflower tattoo, here is a good idea to borrow from. As you can see, the stem wraps around the toe.

coloured sunflower tattoo on the foot

Image by @jonnyhex via Instagram

Sunflower Bouquet Tattoos

The only thing that's better than one sunflower is many sunflowers! If you're looking for a sunflowers tattoo, there are different types of floral tattoos for you to choose from. Let's break them down.

The most basic options for your sunflowers tattoo are those in black and grey.

tattoo of 3 sunflowers

Image by @t_smith510 via Instagram

large sunflower tattoo on the arm

Image by @frankiegtattoos_ via Instagram

double sunflower tattoo with shading

Image by @rybread.tattoos via Instagram

sunflower with leaves tattoo

Image by @daggers_and_daisies via Instagram

bouquet of sunflowers tattoo on the stomach

Image by @elz.ink via Instagram

detailed tattoo of sunflowers

Image by @cfayheetat2s via Instagram

A sunflower bouquet tattoo design doesn't need to consist of sunflowers alone. In fact, it can look prettier when there are a myriad of other flowers too.

These tattoo designs tend to be larger, which is why they work well as an arm sunflower tattoo, sleeve sunflower tattoo, or forearm sunflower tattoo.

If you want something that's both sexy and hidden, a thigh sunflower tattoo can work just as well.

Here is some inspiration:

black work sunflower tattoo

Image by @alejandro.s.montemayor via Instagram

flowers with armband tattoo

Image by @shandaa_tattoo via Instagram

full sleeve floral tattoo

Image by @dmikita_tattoo via Instagram

floral hip tattoo

Image by @dolly_maetattoos via Instagram

full back tattoo with sunflowers

Image by @trish_inkedshine via Instagram

flowers and bee tattoo

Image by @absheroriginal via Instagram

sunflower arm tattoo in black

Image by @shaneholtink via Instagram

Here are some sunflowers tattoo designs in color:

sunflower arm tattoo in colour

Image by @sunni_morningstar via Instagram

sunflower tattoo on the thigh

Image by @ashleyinkstattoos via Instagram

large coloured sunflower tattoo on the leg

Image by @craigprentiss13 via Instagram

coloured floral tattoo on the arm

Image by @official100prooftattoo via Instagram

birthday flower tattoo

Image by @jooyoung_tt via Instagram

This is a particularly interesting sunflower tattoo. Only one flower has color in it, while the rest are black and grey. This allows the color of the single flower to stand out even more.

floral forearm tattoo with a little yellow

Image by @hamfist.ink via Instagram

Sunflower Band Tattoos

Your sunflower tattoo can be designed to look incredibly small and delicate. This way, it can be drawn to go around, making it a wrist or arm sunflower tattoo.

Sunflower Band Tattoo

Image by @vrsartist via Instagram

colourful sunflower band tattoo

Image by @tattooist_flower via Instagram

At the same time, this delicate design can be fashioned into other shapes too. These designs will look lovely as a hip sunflower tattoo.

sunflower heart tattoo

Image by @tattooist_haei via Instagram

sunflower infinity sign tattoo

Image by @mood_bkk via Instagram

sunflower heart tattoo in black

Image by @tattooist_seon_e via Instagram

sunflower and carnation tattoo

Image by @laceylilactattoos via Instagram

Blooming Sunflower Tattoos

These are some fairly unique sunflower tattoo designs. This option is usually reserved for lotus and similar flower tattoos but it's still absolutely gorgeous when applied to sunflowers.

This sunflower tattoo could have a symbolic meaning as well. It could represent the stages of life you go through, particularly as a woman.

At the same time, it may also be symbolic of maturity and growth. Only the younger flowers seek sunlight. As the sunflower matures, it stops doing this.

This tattoo design is excellent idea for someone who has wised up with time. It also works well for anyone who has transformed from an optimist to a realist.

sunflower tattoo on the chest

Image by @freak_ink_bari via Instagram

forearm sunflower tattoo

Image by @siihee.tattoo via Instagram

blooming sunflower tattoo

Image by @sharondajordantattoo via Instagram

Sunflower and Butterfly Tattoos

Sunflowers and butterflies go together beautifully. As a result, featuring them in a single tattoo creates a gorgeous image.

Interestingly enough, a sunflower tattoo with a butterfly has its own meaning as well. Butterflies are associated with transformation and rebirth. Sunflowers are about happiness and positivity.

In the same tattoo, they can be used to signify someone who chooses a more positive light or path. This sunflower tattoo also works well for someone who has emerged from a dark chapter in their life.

sunflower and butterfly tattoo in black

Image by @laymo_tattoo via Instagram

butterfly floral tattoo on the thigh

Image by @inksabbath via Instagram

butterfly floral tattoo on the arm

Image by @ria_swanborough via Instagram

butterfly and a sunflower tattoo on the chest

Image by @twin_tattoo via Instagram

vibrant sunflower tattoo with butterflies

Image by @theravenandthewolves via Instagram

sunflower and butterfly tattoo with shading

Image by @auroraandtattoos via Instagram

If you want to create a greater distinction between the sunflower and the butterfly, you can have the sunflower in black and white and the butterfly in color.

Sunflower and butterfly detailed tattoo

Image by @ink_bat_ via Instagram

This is a more subtle look as most of the tattoo is done in black and grey. However, the little touches of white make all the difference.

floral and butterflies tattoo

Image by @tattoos_chacha via Instagram

If you want a more unique butterfly and sunflower tattoo, here are some great ideas. One wing is a butterfly's while the other is made up of sunflowers. Beautiful!

half sunflower half butterfly tattoo

Image by @yonosoyuntatuador via Instagram

half sunflower half butterfly tattoo in colour

Image by @kyledunnuck via Instagram

half sunflower half butterfly tattoo on the hand

Image by @artsbybliss via Instagram

Sunflower and Bees Tattoos

Sunflowers and bees are a lovely combination. They create vivid images of a happy and thriving environment. So, a bee and sunflower tattoo is automatically a cheerful symbol.

Here is how you can make this tattoo work:

sunflower and bee tattoo on the thigh

Image by @freshinkstudios22 via Instagram

flower and bee tattoo

Image by @sammi.loutattoos_rlnm via Instagram

sunflower in a broken bulb and bees tattoo

Image by @dione__tattoo via Instagram

wild sunflower and bees tattoo

Image by @joantaltavullartist via Instagram

one detailed sunflower and bee tattoo in colour

Image by @llaura.brow via Instagram

artistic sunflower and bee tattoo

Image by @dk_tattoo_omn via Instagram

very colourful sunflower and bee tattoo

Image by @rainbowcrys.ink via Instagram

large sunflower tattoo with a bee

Image by @jesscar16 via Instagram

bee tattoo and a sunflower tattoo on both legs

Image by @vickylou_tattoo82 via Instagram

tattoo of a Sunflower and a little bumblebee

Image by @memories.and.mischief.tattoo via Instagram

sunflower and bumblebee tattoo

Image by @dominic_achilles via Instagram

Pretty black n grey floral tattoo

Image by @neekostentaculz via Instagram

bee and sunflower tattoo

Image by @solidmetaltattooboynecitymi via Instagram

honeycomb tattoo with sunflowers

Image by @deafink1 via Instagram

Sunflower and Bird Tattoos

Sunflowers and birds work really well together. Not only are they a natural fit, but they also balance each other in artistic sense as well.

The birds in these designs are intricately drawn. If you like, you can opt for a simpler bird design. If not, make sure you have a talented and experienced artist to guarantee that the tattoo comes out just right.

Sunflower and Bird Tattoo

Image by @marytattooer via Instagram

owl and sunflower tattoo

Image by @crawleyboyart via Instagram

sunflower and robin tattoo

Image by @kym_inx via Instagram

humming bird and sunflower tattoo

Image by @sleepingtigertattoo via Instagram

Head Full of Sunflowers Tattoos

On the surface, this can simply seem like an artistic sunflower tattoo. It certainly is.

If you think about it more, though, you will realize that it represents a positive mindset. The sunflowers in place of the head could indicate that you're working on a new and positive way of thinking.

If nothing else, it is certainly a weird and wonderful way to incorporate sunflowers in your ink!

Head Full of Sunflowers Tattoo

Image by @tattoofahimeh via Instagram

two sunflowers on the head tattoo

Image by @elustration via Instagram

one sunflower on the head tattoo

Image by @blacklatexx via Instagram

sunflower girl tattoo

Image by @tonipnw via Instagram

Sunflower and Skull Tattoos

Sunflowers and skulls may seem at odds with one another but this is also why they work so well together in a sunflower tattoo.

Skulls often indicate the end of something. They also tend to be a symbol of something hardened or a person with an edge. Sunflowers, on the other hand, are all about light and happiness.

These two symbols in the same tattoo can signify balance or the duality of nature and life. It can also be a great way to soften up an otherwise tough piece of ink.

sunflower on a skull tattoo

Image by @gorilacris_redlightattoo via Instagram

sunflower with a cow skull tattoo

Image by @lsbtattoos via Instagram

Skull & Wildflower thigh tattoo

Image by @j9illustration via Instagram

sunflower tattoo with an animal skull

Image by @tashtattooer via Instagram

sunflower from a skull tattoo on the leg

Image by @terry__downs via Instagram

Phrases and Sunflower Tattoos

A sunflower tattoo can be a sign of better times ahead. Due to this, it's only natural to want to pair this symbol with a phrase that is meaningful to you.

Do you need to endow yourself with some positive advice? Consider these sunflower tattoo sayings:

tattoo with a bulb sunflowers, a skull, and a phrase

Image by @la_tattoo_ via Instagram

sunflower and wording tattoo

Image by @will.i.am_tattoo via Instagram

sunflower tattoo with a saying

Image by @renja.tattoo via Instagram

simple motivational sunflower tattoo

Image by @bella_sapognikov_ via Instagram

simplistic sunflower tattoo

Image by @miuzzytattoo via Instagram

sunflower and love always tattoo

Image by @torbstattoos via Instagram

sunflower tattoo with wording on the shoulder

Image by @tattoo_tinyfnblue via Instagram

sunflower, butterfly, and wording tattoo

Image by @bigmark.tattooer via Instagram

The right words can also transform your sunflower tattoo into a beautiful memorial:

single sunflower tattoo with wording

Image by @rockcitytattoocompany via Instagram

memorial sunflower tattoo

Image by @melanydierks via Instagram

sunflower tattoo with wording and date

Image by @meggopokes via Instagram

A sunflower is also be a good way to put a positive spin on a reminders that can seem a little bleak:

colourful sunflower tattoo with wording around it

Image by @violentink307 via Instagram

dainty sunflower tattoo with a saying

Image by @ace_inkks via Instagram

Geometric Sunflower Tattoos

A geometric sunflower tattoo is an oddly cool combination. The geometric shapes do two things. First, they create an abstract border that helps to highlight the sunflower. At the same time, it helps illustrate the free nature of the flower as it can't quite contain it.

Another thing that the geometric shape does is to act as a juxtaposition to the sunflower. Sunflowers are seen as soft and nurturing while the solid shape can seem unyielding.

Geometric Sunflower Tattoo

Image by @lukehatesyouall via Instagram

geometric sunflower tattoo on the back

Image by @thaiscasquilhoink via Instagram

sunflower within triangle tattoo

Image by @hifi.smalltattoos via Instagram

coloured sunflower tattoo on the hand

Image by @jeffreytsoi_tattooworker via Instagram

colourful sunflower tattoo with a possitive note

Image by @wildcardtattoo via Instagram

sunflower within a triangle tattoo

Image by @inks_by_cole via Instagram

Sunflower Mandala Tattoos

The sunflower mandala tattoo is a good option for anyone who wants to focus their thoughts. Mandalas are meant to help you to concentrate better. The petals of the sunflower can be arranged in such a way that it promotes an organized pattern.

Due to the confusing nature of the sunflower mandala tattoo, it is best to go with an artist that has done mandala tattoos before. They will be able to create a good base for you.

illustrative sunflower tattoo

Image by @reb3lstudios via Instagram

mandala sunflower tattoo

Image by @reb3lstudios via Instagram

black mandala sunflower tattoo

Image by @aminatattooyou via Instagram

live in the moment sunflower tattoo

Image by @inkaboutit_tattoos via Instagram

Matching Sunflower Tattoos

Sunflowers are all about love, so it is only natural to choose this design for your matching sunflower tattoo. You can choose tattoos that are identical or go with those that are similar but have been custom-designed for the person getting inked.

Matching Sunflower Key Tattoos

Image by @mycalamassacretats via Instagram

Matching Sunflower Tattoos

Image by @morgangambletattoos via Instagram

matching half sunflower tattoos

Image by @freak.steve via Instagram

What Does a Sunflower Tattoo Symbolize?

Sunflowers are usually associated with joy and happiness. Some people also believe that they are a symbol of good luck. They also indicate a long, happy life.

A sunflower tattoo tends to showcase positivity. The young flowers tend to move to face the sun. While this doesn't happen with older flowers, it's symbolic of always finding the light, regardless of how dark the times may seem.

What Does a Butterfly on a Sunflower Mean?

Butterflies are symbols of transformation or rebirth. It can also be a sign that you have decided to choose a new path in life.

So, when a butterfly is paired with a sunflower tattoo, it could indicate that there is a new beginning in your life. You may have chosen a lifestyle dedicated to happiness and positivity.

What Does a Sunflower Moon Tattoo Mean?

This is definitely an unusual combination - after all, sunflowers are associated with the sun. The sun and the moon rarely share the sky at the same time.

These two symbols in one tattoo could be a depiction of two different personalities or circumstances.

It could also indicate balance - how two opposing factors or forces can even each other out.

What Does a Lotus Flower Tattoo Symbolize?

Lotus flowers symbolize purity. Even though they grow in murky water, the petals remain clean.

They are also considered to be symbols of enlightenment.

As you can see, there really are a lot of tattoos to choose from. Now that you know the top designs and ideas, though, you will have a far easier time figuring out what to get. Good luck.

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