Weird Science: St. Patrick's Day Flower - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weird Science: St. Patrick's Day Flower

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dr. V stopped by with a new experiment that turns flowers green.

Things you need:

  • White carnation or daisy
  • Flower vase
  • Knife
  • Green food coloring
  • Water

The experiment

Please do this and all experiments with adult supervision. First, fill a flower vase with one cup of warm water.  Next, add about 60-80 drops of green food coloring into the water in the vase.  For the next step, have an adult cut the stem of the flower at an angle and place the cut flower into the vase (For best results, cut the flower underwater so that air bubbles don't enter the stem).  Within a few hours, you should start to see the petals of the flower turn green.  Wait one day and the flower should be completely green!  Perfect for St. Patrick's Day! 

How does it work?

The leaves of plants contain many small holes, called stomata.  Moisture evaporates through these pores and as the plant loses this water, it needs to replace it with more.  Usually a plant does this through its root system from the soil in which it is planted, but the stems of cut flowers can also "drink" water.  This process is called transpiration.  The flower will draw the water up through the stem in tiny tubes called xylem and into the leaves and petals of the flower.  The food coloring in the water allows us to see this as it occurs.

How long did it take your flower to start to turn green?

How long did it take to turn completely green?

What would happen if you didn't place your flower into water?

Do you think pollution could move up into the flower just as quickly as the food coloring did?

Do other colors work well, or even better?

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