The Botanist

So today you’ve been exploring the wonderful world of botany – the science of plants. I bet you’ve also got up close and personal with a strange and wonderful Venus Fly Trap.

Hopefully your plant and the little plastic tube made it safely home. If they did, it’s time to do a little experiment. Scroll down for instructions!

Botany is a pretty cool area of science. If you fancy finding out a bit more about the wonderful world of plants, head outside and have a look around – you’ll find thousands of different types all over the place!

An experiment: multicoloured flowers

For this experiment, you’ll need:

  • Your white flower (its called a chrysanthemum)
  • A cup half filled with water
  • Some food colouring (blue is good)

What to do (scientists call this the Method):

  1. Add 6 drops of your food colouring to the water.
  2. Remove the flower from its plastic vial and put the stem into the coloured water.
  3. Leave it for a few hours.
  4. Come back and see what has happened!
  5. Take a photo and email it to us – we’d love to add it to our gallery below.

If you get stuck, try watching the video on the right – it’ll show you exactly what to do.

What’s going on?

Hopefully, after a couple of hours, you will see some of the colour from the water on the petals. Before you read on, stop and ask yourself this question:

How has the colour got from the water to the petal?

In humans, all the nutrients and waste is transported around our bodies through blood vessels. These are little (and sometime big) pipes that connect your entire body. If you close one eye and look in a mirror you can probably see these blood vessels on your eyelid, they are little red lines.

Plants also transport waste, nutrients and water around. They do this using a special tubes. Tubes so small you can’t see them with your eye. This is why your flower has turned blue (or green, or whatever coloured food colouring you use), water has travelled up the tubes into the petals. Because the water was blue, the petals turned blue!