Grade Level: K - 5th; Type: Life Science
We will be observing the condition of various blossoms over a two-week period to determine which flower lasts the longest.
- Single stem cut flower: Roses, Lilies, Daisies, Mums, Carnations, Gladiolas, Orchids, Tulips, etc. Some of these can be found in supermarkets. Special varieties are available at a local florist.
- Empty water bottles, cleaned. The water bottles should be the same to eliminate variation.
- Camera (optional)
In this example we will use 4 flowers. You can choose your own varieties and conditions.
- Using room temperature or cool tap water fill each water bottle with the same volume.
- Cut each flower stem at 10 - 12" from the base of the blossom at an angle. Depending on the height of your water bottle the height may vary but always cut each stem at the same distance.
- Place each stem in its own water bottle and place it in the same area making sure each flower gets an equal amount of light.
- Record the date and appearance of the flower. If you have a camera available take a photograph.
- Does it look like a freshly cut flower?
- Is it starting to dry out?
- What color is the blossom? Are the petals beginning to brown?
- Count the number of petals. Are any petals falling off?
- Everyday record the date and the appearance of the flower.
- Is it healthy like it was just picked?
- Is it starting to wilt?
- Is it starting to turn brown?
- Are petals falling off?
- Is it wilted?
- Change the water after recording your findings. Keep the temperature and volume of water the same for each flower.
- Repeat for 13 days or until all flower blossoms have wilted or died.
Terms/Concepts: Why should flower stems be cut at an angle?; What is the best temperature of the water?; Does changing the water regularly increase the life of the flower?
- National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Familiar Flowers: East (The Audubon Society Pocket Guides), National Audubon Society. 1987.