Flowers are beautiful. They bring us happiness!
They mean different things to different cultures. We give them to people on their birthdays. Flowers decorate our weddings. We share them with others when they are not feeling well. We bring them into our houses in pots and vases. Flowers are unique plants. Their diverse petal shapes and arrangements come in all imaginable colors celebrating nature’s beauty and geometric patterns. Some grow horizontally across the ground or on top of green roofs. Others grow vertically and produce fruit. Many flowers grow on vines climbing over walls and trellises and fences. Some mature into fruits and are edible.
Flowers can be perennial, meaning they come up year after year. Others are annual, only lasting during the growing season. There are 400,000+ types of flowering plant species around the world. Some are much more common than others, and some grow only in certain climates. Flowers planted in pots, gardens, and hanging baskets share their beauty and fragrances. In contrast, others are popular additions to gorgeous bouquets, and others are wildflowers growing in the countryside, in prairies, deserts, and tropical rainforests. Flowers cover the ground, sprout from seeds and bulbs, bushes, and even trees.
Domestic or wild, flowers raise our spirits, share Nature’s beauty, and help us celebrate life!
What kind of bloom are you?
Activity 1 – Flower Shapes
Flowers bloom in all different shapes. Common shapes include a flat head flower like Yarrow or Queen Anne’s Lace that spreads multiple blooms from one stem. Daisies, Coneflowers, and Black-eyed Susans all have bulbous seed spheres in the center with radiating petals. Day Lilies and lilies have trumpet blooms opening up towards the sun. Tulip blooms create cups of petals with stigmas inside. Plumes are flowers that sprout a conic shape that is fuller at the bottom, coming up to a point. The flowers are a good example. Alliums grow in spherical shapes with radiating stems that create spheres reminding us of the geometry in nature. Filters are multiple flowers that expand out on numerous branches. Lilacs grow in clusters, emanating dense plumes of sweet fragrance.
Look more closely at the shapes of flowers and record as many different shapes as you can find.
Activity 2 – Flower Seeds
A flower grows from a seed that opens and spreads roots into the ground. The sources of different flowers range from round black kernels to striped sunflower seeds to nasturtium pebbles or tulip bulbs. Seed collectors study the shape, size, color, and texture to determine the family of flowers and the genus of flowers. You can collect seeds from many flowers by cutting off the faded blooms. Allium seeds grow at the end of the sphere pods. Sunflower seeds come from the center of the flower. Day Lily Seeds are found inside the Green Pods after the lilies have bloomed. Some flowers sprout edible fruits like cucumber or strawberry plants.
Draw or take pictures of different seeds and the flowers they become.
Activity 3 – Parts of a Flower
Flowers have similar parts to plants. They start from a seed in the ground. Seeds come in different shapes and sizes specific to the specific flower. The seeds sprout and root in the ground growing a stem which sprout leaves and when ready a flower, or an array of flowers. Common wildflowers include chicory, goldenrod, columbine, may apples, cornflowers, black-eyed susans, phlox, and sunflowers. Common garden flowers are tulips, daffodils, roses, peonies, lilies, daylilies, wisteria, clematis, lilac, and many more!
Look closely at the flowers and see the different parts. The stalk of a flower is called the peduncle. From the peduncle sprouts the perianth consisting of sepals, or green leaves, sprouting the Corolla, or petals of the flower. Inside the flower are the male parts of the flower stamens that consist of the hold the androecium, or stamens, that hold the sac of pollen grains. Inside the flower petals emerges the gynoecium, or carpels that contain the female parts of the flower. The pistil is a plant’s female part. The stamen is located in the flower’s center and has a stigma, style and ovary with Ovules. The ovary contains eggs, which reside in ovules. If an egg is fertilized, the ovule develops into a seed. The parts of the internal flower are what attract pollinators- bees, beetles, hummingbirds, wasps, and butterflies.
Butterflies and hummingbirds land on flowers to eat the pollen to nourish their long migrations. As the pollinators land they collect pollen on their feet and legs. Moving from flower to flower, they are actually fertilizing the flower so that it will reproduce.
Label the amazing parts of a flower!!.
Activity 4 – Perennial and Annual FLowers
Every species of flower has its growing season. Some are early spring flowers like Snow on the Mountain. The white flowers often bloom during the last snowfalls of winter! Others bloom early at the beginning of spring, like daffodils and Virginia Bluebells. Some flowers return every year. These flowers are called perennials. They are strong enough to withstand seasonal changes as the above-ground stem, leaves, and blossoms die off, but the base and rootstock grow back each spring. Perennials are cost-effective as they return again and again.
On the other hand, Annuals are flowers that only last one growing season. Yet annual flowers tend to have longer blooming times. Gardeners plant annuals to change the look and color of their gardens and have more extended flowering periods than perennials. As the flowering season of perennials is usually shorter, make sure to plant different varieties to keep color blooming throughout the season. Flowers spread each year. Flowers that generally only last one season are called annuals. It is essential to know the difference when planting a garden. Indigenous plants, by and large, are perennials. For example, prairie plants return every year. Extensive Green Roof plants also weather the seasons and bloom again when the temperature and sunshine are right.
Make a page of perennial plants and a page of annual plants in your journal.
Activity 5 – Flowers and Pollination
Pollination is the activity of butterflies, bees, beetles, flies, hummingbirds, moths, and sometimes wind. Known as pollinators, these diverse animals and insects visit flowers. First, they land on the anthers (or male parts of the flower) and pick up dusty pollen on their feet and legs. They then travel to another flower sticking the pollen on the stigma (or female part). This transfer of pollen fertilizes the flower, which then grows fruits and seeds. Watch Pollination in action. Pollination is essential to our healthy ecosystem, and its evolved interdependence over time between flowering plants and pollinators is key to the life of plants and animals. Pollinations occur year-round. Pollinator Garden helps attracts bees and butterflies. Check your Growing season, region, and state for which pollinator plants are best for where you live. Common Pollinator garden flowering plants include Phlox, Virginia Blue Bell, Milkweed, Pink Cone Flowers, Yarrow, Chicory, Lavender, Wild Bergamot, Salvia, Goldenrod, Sunflowers, Butterfly Weeds.
Draw pollinator plants and then plan a pollinator garden. Label which plants will go where!
Activity 6 – Year Round Pollination
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall pollination is happening worldwide. Plants expanded their species as they evolved and adapted to different blooming times. Winter gardens are full of decaying leaves and plants that shelter pollinator insects through cold months. Spring brings blooming of trees, early perennial flowers, and fragrant daffodils.
Summer blossoms bring the largest pollinator populations as animals and insects abound around the flowers in search of pollen and nectar. In the cooler days of fall, pollinators eat the pollen to build up for winter’s hibernation or long migration to warmer temperatures. Monarchs from North America fly to Mexico, often covering more than 30 miles a day. Bird migrations have even longer daily flights to further destinations.
Make a 4 season drawing of essential acts of pollinators throughout the year.
Activity 7 – Make a Flower Journal
Now that you know about the beauty of flowers, the importance of flowers as pollinators, and their unique seeds, shapes, colors, and fragrances, start a flower journal. People who love flowers and grow them are called horticulturalists. Master gardeners take classes in their growing zone, learn about perennials and annuals, and help others with their gardens. Landscape architects with garden centers and master gardeners, and horticulturalists plan large-scale landscape plans for pocket parks, parks, greens, school grounds, and green settings through all building types. Check out [Buildings based on Flowers!](Florists are the ones who run flower stalls or stores, making bouquets for special occasions year-round. Which floral career interests you?
**Collect all of your notes, photos, and drawings of flowers, labeling shapes, sizes, growth periods, etc.Make a flower journal!!!
- Which flower type returns each year?
- What are flowering plants called?
- Flowers are pollen producing plants
- Flowers produce pollen in their
- Pollen is produced and when transferred to another flower is part of the reproduction cycle of flowers.
- Some flowers have beautiful fragrences.
- Flowers come in many mnay colors
- Flowers have many petal shapes
- Different flowers have different meanings to different cultures.
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