I just got home from my second day in the Master Gardener program and am still grinning from ear to ear with all the fun I had today. I have made a mental note not to talk to any of my close friends right after I leave a session until I have had the opportunity to come down from my high and reflect through my blog. My lovely friend Radhi got fifteen minutes of Botany 101 and amazing facts about flowers when I called her upon leaving my class today. It’s just that what I learned today rocked my world and shook up what previous understanding I had about plants and flowers.
- All those layers you see when you cut open an onion are actually leaves â€“ scale-like leaves stored with “food”. The small part at the base of an onion where the little root hairs stick out is the stem!
- Each kernel of corn is actually a fruit that contains a seed inside. Also, if you’re going to plant corn, it’s best to plant it in a block rather than in a row so that you have better luck with pollination. This is my understanding in a nut shell: the part that sticks up at the top of a stalk of corn is the male part of the plant, which releases pollen to the wind. That pollen then needs to get blown down to the female plant part, the little corn silks sticking out. If the pollen gets down from the male part of the plant to the female silks below, you’ll get a baby corn! So, if your corn plot is in a block, there’s a better chance that the wind will get that pollen on to your plant. Isn’t that amazing?
- A potato is not actually a root â€“ it’s a fleshy underground stem (a tuber)!
- There’s always a bud at the base of a leaf. So, something that may look like a stem with little leaves on it, may actually be a bunch of leaflets that together make one leaf! Find the bud and you’ll have a leaf!
- A fruit (and tons of vegetables for that matter since many of the plants we call vegetables are actually fruits) is a mature ovary that has been fertilized with pollen and has developed into a fruit with seeds.