Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Floral Experiments

When I was much younger (but not much smaller) I learnt in biology about active transport. It's basically how plants transport stuff throughout the organism from higher concentration to lower concentration. I think.

Anyway, I just remember the experiment where we made our celery turn red by putting one end in red food colouring. It was fascinating stuff, and when I looked at the white flowers my mum had brought home, I decided that it was time to do an experiment.

166/365 - Zan experiments with colouring flowers. Using science of course. Of the remnants of science she still remembers. Possibly.

For the first hour or so, my mum and I kept peering at these flowers to see if they'd magically changed colour without us noticing, but soon we left it alone. The next day, we were both very pleased to see that our little experiment did in fact work, but not quite how we'd expected it to:

The food colouring had definitely started going into the flowers, but instead of colouring the petals completely, they have only got to the edges in tiny little dots. The split colour one looks especially cool at half yellow and half red with a hint of orange in the middle. Fantastic!

Now, those two photos were taken in a bit of a hurry at lunchtime today, so when I'd got home from work, I took some time to take better and more detailed photos, and by then, the flowers had absorbed more colouring too:

I hadn't ever quite realised that water was taken up by the flowers into the petals through vein-like structures. These photos reveal much about the secret life of flowers, and makes it seem quite whimsical, and slightly magical. That first photo makes it look like a fairy wing! It's all sooo coool! :)

I'm quite pleased about this experiment, and I reckon I've got another day's worth of colour changes to work through yet, so there might be another post about this yet! Stay tuned! :)

Hoorah for flowers, and hoorah for experiments! :)


  1. So... when you see flowers with different colours... there's food colouring in the soil?

    AMAZING :)

    1. Of course not! Those flowers that have different colours grows naturally that way. The flower she used is white, but it absorbed the water colouring through the xylem, thus it turned red.


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