Sunday, 20 May 2012

take a perfectly good (no, it’s absolutely not a) geranium flower

Now you might think you have seen flowers like these…..


somewhere in the school grounds.  But you would be mistaken.  Really.

These similar flowers just appeared on my desk.  As if from nowhere.


Lying there, they were, when I came back from doing important teacherly stuff one lunchtime.


And by some coincidence, there just happened to be enough for us each to have one to look at more closely.  How about that!

By more closely, I mean really closely.  So close that we actually get to see the individual parts that make up each flower.  You just need a bit of patience (tough call, I know) and fingers much more nimble than mine.  For you are going to deconstruct that flower.  That, rather excitingly, means pull it to bits.


Petal by pink (or red) petal.  Are you ready?


Carefully ease out each petal…..


one at a time and line them up so you can count them.


How many petals does a(n absolutely NOT a) geranium flower have?



Next, and you might need a bit of help with this (I have tweezers) you are going to take out the tiny part of the flower that will eventually (once an insect has paid an all-important call) have the seeds inside (it’s called the pistil, although some people like to call it the ‘female’ part of the flower).  It’s right in the centre and surrounded by lots of ‘stamens’ (which are the parts of the flower where the pollen is formed; or what people often think of the ‘male’ parts of the flower).

Actually you want to keep those too; the male parts.

Finally, you should end up with the green ‘sepal’ which is what the flower was hidden inside when it was just a bud.

When you have all your different parts, stick them down as I have done and you might even wish to have a go at labelling them. 


By now you can probably identify the tiny part…..


that will eventually have the seeds inside.


The petals too should be easy to recognise.

_MG_7450   _MG_7452

And one or two of you might even be able to label both the ‘lady’ part and the ‘men’ (that would be stamen I take it) or ‘male’ parts.

_MG_7449  _MG_7446

And now, seeing as you are such experts, I wonder if you might be able to label (I do like the sound of that - able to label!) the different parts of this de-con-struc-ted azalea flower.


Five (somewhat bruised) speckly petals, 6 wispy ‘male’ stamens and one beginning-to-get-fat ‘lady’ part (otherwise known as the pistil).

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