Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Botany:Learning the Most Common Plants by Family: Pollen and the Lilly Family

Out-of-door life takes a child afield and keeps him in the open air, which not only helps him physically and occupies his mind with sane subjects, but keeps him out of mischief. It is not only during childhood that this is true, for love of nature counts much for sanity in later life.” Anna Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study, page 2

Our Outdoor Hour challenge this week was to look for pollen, so we focused on looking at the plant parts (stamen and pistil) looking for pollen and looking for insects that pollinate flowers. For our nature walk in the backyard, we found many flowers, but did not see any insects. We focused on the Lily that Katie planted, and looked at the stamen, and the pollen on them and the pistil. We talked about how a flower is pollinated by insects accidentally getting pollen on them from the stamen when the seek nectar or pollen (bees collect pollen on "pollen bags" on their legs) and some of the pollen rubs off on the pistil of the next flower they visit, pollinating the flower.
We picked a couple of them and brought them inside to draw as it is really hot outside this week. We learned about how important it is to identify flowers from the outside in: first the sepals, then the petals followed by stamen and pistil. We learned that normally sepals are green, but in the case of the Lily family, they are the same color as the petals, so many people mistake them for petals. Knowing that the Lily Family follows patterns of three and six helped us to easily identify this family from other plants. Lilies are monocots, which means when they begin to sprout, they have only one seed leaf. Monocots also have parallel leaf veins as opposed to the net veined leaves of dicots. The Lily Family has six stamens and one pistil with a 3 parted (or Y shaped stigma). Most plants in the Lily Family grow from bulbs. Most Lily Family members are edible though a couple are poisonous, not that I plan on eating anything we find on our nature walks.

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