Environmental Learning Green Schools & Classrooms Lessons To Grow! Natural Play Pure Science



Do all plants have the same roots? 

Tulips are well known for their bulb (bulbous) roots.  Each spring, I first notice flowers from bulbs like the crocus, then daffodils, followed by tulips and hyacinth.  Green shouts of onions and garlic are now up, too.  Keep an eye out this spring for the unique flowers of that allium family.  Some shrubs like witch hazel and forsythia have flowers before leaves.Speaking of flowers, have you ever been handed a bouquet of dandelions?  At an elementary school event with GGH this week,  a third grader asked, “Are all roots the same?”

Dandelions have a tap root.  Pull one out of the ground, if you can, and you will find a thick white root.  Another plant often times called a weed, found in sidewalk cracks and lawn areas is the plantain.  (Note:  I’m not going bananas here- that’s a different kind of plantain).  Plantains have a fibrous root system which looks like many threads coming out of the bottom of a plant.  By the way, a weed can be defined as a plant out of place.

Prairie plants, like butterfly weed, bluestem grass and purple cone flower; can be found in rain gardens and butterfly gardens.  Prairie plants have DEEP root systems that aid in the cleaning of air and water.  For example, the rough blazing star plant has been found with roots 16 feet deep.  On the other hand, turf grass has root systems only 2-3 inches deep.  Hats off to those hard-working prairie plants!

Play. Learn. Love.

May 2017

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