Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flower Study--Bleeding Hearts

I believe it was in April that we did our study of Bleeding Hearts. They really are a beautiful flower! I have two plants growing outside my kitchen door. It's very interesting how one plant will be up and blooming before the other even pokes it's head out of the ground. So strange! I haven't figured out yet why that is. They were both planted at the same time and are placed right next to each other.

First we took our notebooks outside so that we could study and draw the leaves and the flowers as they were.

Handbook of Nature Study page 559:
The flowers of the bleeding heart are
beautiful jewel-like pendants arranged
along the stem according to their age; the
mature flower, ready to shed its petals, is
near the main stem, while the tiny un-
opened bud is hung at the very tip, where
new buds are constantly being formed
during a long season of bloom.

Isn't it lovely the way the tip of one of the flowers appears as a drop of dew?

Tigger's--love how he included the bee. We had discussed how the bees could get to the nectar. They have to hang upside down!

Pooh's--I'm wondering if Pooh had his notebook upside down when he drew?

Mom's--trying to identify the parts. I'm not very good at it.
After we did our outside drawings, I cut off a branch of flowers and brought them into the kitchen. We examined how the flowers closest to the plant open first and how the ones on the end were still in growth. Closed and small. We took apart some of the flowers to see the inside parts. Our fingers got covered with pollen.

From the source below, we tried taking something from each observation point and figure out the answer. We didn't go over each and every question, but did the 'highlights'. I found all the parts of this flower a little hard to identify. There's a lot more going on in there than you would imagine!

Handbook of Nature Study page 560:
OBSERVATIONS i. How are these flow-
ers supported? Do they open upward or
downward? Can you see the tiny sepals?

2. How many petals can you see in this
flower? What "is the shape of the two
outer petals? How do they open? Where
is the nectar developed in these petals?

3. Take off the two outer petals and
study the two inner ones. What is their
shape near the base? How are their parts
which project beyond the outer petals
shaped? What does the spoon-end of
these petals cover? Can you find the hinge
in these petals?

4. Where are the stamens? How many
are there? Describe the shape of the sta-
mens near the base. How are they united
at the tip?

5. Where is the stigma? The style? The
ovary?

6. Supposing a bee is after the nectar,
where must she rest while probing for it?
Can she get the nectar without pushing
against the flat projecting portion of the
inner petals? When she pushes these
spoon-bowls back, what happens? Does
she get dusted with pollen? After she
leaves, does the door swing back? Suppose
she visits another flower which has shed
its pollen ? will she carry pollen to its
stigma? Does she have to work the hinged
door to do this?

These questions give you great starting points for your observations. You don't have to follow them all exactly, but take an idea and run with it. If your children aren't interested in figuring out one aspect of it, move on to the next.

So far, my flower studies with boys have gone a lot more smoothly than I expected. Whew!

2 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I love this flower. It is so pretty and interesting. I think all of your journals are fantastic! I would love for you to include them in the Flickr nature journal group if you would like to join and add them.

Eight and under group:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/naturejournal1/

Over Eight group:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/naturejournal2/

Thank you so much for sharing your link. I will add it to Mr. Linky....he has been having issues this week again.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

live4evermom said...

Oh, you all did so well. Love those drawings.