Reproduction and heredity

Seeds: The Promise of Life

Seeds are the beginning and the end — miniscule miracles that contain all that's needed to produce a sunflower, cabbage, or great oak. Watching these seemingly lifeless objects burst forth with growth is enough to capture the imaginations of most kids, but there are lots of ways to explore the wonder of seeds in addition to planting them. In the Family Resource Room this month you'll find ideas for ways to make seeds come to life for your kids, literally and figuratively.

Asexual Propagation

Both plants and people can propagate through sexual reproduction, but obviously, this isn't true of asexual propagation: A severed human toe doesn't sprout a new person, nor does the person sprout a new toe!

Here we'll describe the most common types of asexual propagation methods used in the classroom setting: cuttings and division.

Meet the Lady Beetles

Although we know them as ladybugs, these familiar garden denizens, which inevitably inspire curiosity and questions, are not actually bugs, but beetles, and they are not all ladies! (True bugs constitute a different group, or order, of insects, characterized by broad, flat bodies with triangular designs that are formed by overlapping wings.)

State Flowers

Combining history, geography, and science.....

A bouquet of flowers is a treasured gift for people of all ages — it creates smiles and warm thoughts through the enjoyment of nature’s beauty. Botanically, flowers are the plant’s tool for survival, but in a garden they also add greatly to the aesthetics of the landscape. Their utility extends to providing food for many insect and bird species, and some flowers are even consumed by humans (like cauliflower and broccoli)!

Finding, Gathering, Saving Seeds

For most of human history, people needed to save and replant seeds in order to survive. Seeds from favorite plants were saved from year to year and generation to generation. When people emigrated to new parts of the world, they brought with them seeds from plants with qualities they valued: the tastiest tomatoes, longest beans, or squash that withstood cold temperatures, for instance.

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