Bloomin’ Amazing!

Marking Pen
Large Bowl or Pie Plate


1) Draw a flower on a sheet of newspaper by following these instructions:
Draw a 6-inch (15-cm) diameter circle on the paper.
Draw four lines to divide the circle into eight equal parts.
Use the lines as a guide to draw flower petals as in the diagram.
2) Cut out the paper flowers.
3) Fold each petal toward the center of the flower and crease it so that it lays flat. The petals will overlap.
4) Fill the bowl or pie plate with water.
5) Place the folded paper flower, petal side up, on top of the water in the bowl.
6) What happens to the flower after a few minutes?

Explanation: You should have observed the petals of the paper flower rising up and the entire flower opening. The cells of plants are filled with water. The pressure of water inside the cells is called turgor pressure. Morning glories and other types of flowers open and close their petals because of changes in the amount of water inside their cells. Turgor movements of water are usually rapid, occurring within 1 to 2 seconds or, at the most, 30 minutes.

Water movements through the petals of flowers, and in the paper flower in this experiment, are due to capillary action (the rising of water in small tubes or channels). Plants, like paper, have tubes and tube like structures through which water can move. As the water enters, the turgor pressure produced causes the structure to spread open.

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