Don’t these colored Queen Anne’s Lace flowers look like fireworks? They would make a beautiful July 4th decoration and you’ll have a chance to teach the kids some botony on the side. I saw Joy, You know how we’re an art family, do it with her family, and me being the nature girl I am HAD to try it. I’ve done this with carnations and celery, but this is by far my favorite flower for this experiment!
What you need:
Freshly cut Queen Anne’s Lace flowers
Food coloring (we used Easter egg dye)
Now, simply color the water (10-20 drops) and add a flower to each bottle. Then wait, keep checking the flowers every 10 minutes. Let them sit overnight too, they get brighter and bolder with time.
How does it work?
There are two things that combine to move water through plants — TRANSPIRATION and COHESION. Water evaporating from the leaves, buds and petals (TRANSPIRATION) pulls water up the stem of the plant. This works in the same way as sucking on a straw. Water that evaporates from the leaves “pulls” other water behind it up to fill the space left by the evaporating water, but instead of your mouth providing the suction it is due to evaporating water. This can happen because water is very sticky–to itself (called water COHESION) and because the tubes in the plant stem are very small (in a part of the plant called the XYLEM). This process is called CAPILLARY ACTION. (Explantation from Steve Spangler Science).
We also tried this with Daisy Fleabane, the orange worked, but the rest of the flowers didn’t change colors. Our next experiment will be to try and figure out why purple and red didn’t work on the Queen Anne’s Lace and why only the orange worked on the Daisy Fleabane.
Now I am off to press these beauties for a future activity! Enjoy!