May: May Flowers
Spring is a great time for flowers. At Tyler you can visit our magnolias, azaleas, rhododendrons and lilacs that all bloom in May. You will find flowers in our Native Woodland Walk and along the forested pathways.
So you may be asking yourself, “Why are flowers different colors? Why are some sweet smelling and some smelly? Why do I see more bees on one flower and more butterflies on another?” Flowers are the part of the plant that makes seeds to make more plants. Flowers are shaped the way they are to attract pollinators or to be able to collect pollen from wind. Bees don’t see red, but do see blue, yellow and ultraviolet. Thus, bee-pollinated flowers are mostly yellow (some blue) with ultraviolet nectar guides, or “landing patterns.” Bees can smell, so they like flowers that have a delicate floral scent. Butterfly-pollinated flowers are brightly-colored (even red), but odorless (butterflies can’t smell). These flowers are often in clusters and/or are designed to provide a landing platform.
- Carnation: Obtain a white carnation, (celery works too), and put it in a vase with water and blue food coloring (about 10 drops in 1/4 cup water should do). Wait a day or two, and see what happens.
- Dissect a flower: Different flowers have different numbers of petals. Have your child dissect different flowers and count the petals. Next use them for the paint with flowers in the craft section.
- Paint with Flowers – color a flower coloring page with real flower petals. Buy bright colored flowers from a store or use flowers in your yard and rub them against the paper to color!
- Grow some flowers of your own! Grow flowers from seed or bulbs. Grow herbs to use in your kitchen.
When exploring Tyler, you may want to go on a scavenger hunt. You can get a hunt at the Visitor Center. If you want to go on a hunt by yourself, these are things you may want to look for:
- different color flowers such as green or orange
- a flower the size of your pinky nail
- a flower that likes water
- a flower that is visited by a bee
- a flower growing under a tree
- a flower in the vegetable garden
- a flower that a butterfly would like
- http://www.theteachersguide.com/plantsflowers.htm – tons of resources about plants and flowers
- http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio106/pollinat.htm – good background information on pollination
More Activities and Photos:
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