Science through flowers

Over the weekend Mr and Ms Oh Waily combined to create a first science experiment for the Oh Waily children.
It started innocently with wanting to pick a nice rose from the garden so that we could bring some of the flowers into the house.  The roses that are currently opening up are the very lovely Icebergs.  They tend to be just like the name suggests, a beautiful sharp white colour.  They can tend to a slight hint of pink, but the flower and buds that I snipped had no hint of that.

I had Miss Oh Waily pop it in a small tub of water, with the intention of seeing how and if the buds would open once cut*.  I then had a few errands, jobs and sundry other things to do and we left the rose sitting on the kitchen countertop.

The very next time I notice Rose #1 it’s little pot of water has turned a striking shade of red.  Mr Oh Waily had, with his able assistant, shaken a good dose of red food colouring into the water.   He had thought that it would be fun for Miss Oh to see how plants drink water and where it goes to.  So by this morning we had a fairly pink and very open Iceberg flower plus two very pink buds.

I liked this idea and ran with it.  This morning I thought what could be more striking than red turning up in the petals of a white flower?  The strongest food colour, other than black, that we possess is the very dark blue.  So Miss Oh and I picked another spray with a young flower and buds.  She added blue colour to the water and I popped the flower in.

Here are the results.  Apologies for the photographs of the pair, I don’t have anywhere reliable to set them down with good natural light, but you get the idea.
Colourful duetBehind the Scenes

As you can see the blue colouring has taken much more. It could be the delay in adding the colour to the water, or perhaps the strength of the colour itself.  These were the best photographs I could get for the veins, I hope they are clear enough for you to see.

Pink Veins

Blue Veins

And in this final photograph you can see how dark the pointed tips of the petals have become.

Colourful rose

All of the blue colour (I know if looks greenish) has come through in less than 6 hours.
So that is the first official science experiment for the Oh Waily children.  Pretty and effective.

* It has been some number of years since we tended roses, Icebergs very much included, so my memory of what would happen was somewhat spotty.

Today in history: 1832 – Louisa May Alcott was born. (American author)

Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
– Louisa May Alcott

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