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Wednesday - March 14, 2007

From: Pleasantville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Plants for elementary school grow lab in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What can we grow in a grow lab in our elementary school library from seed now that will bloom by June or what interesting looking established plants can we put in this grow lab that will have meaning for the children? We already have an edible garden where each child grows vegetables in grow lab and outdoor raised beds.

ANSWER:

This is rather a short time period to ensure growth from seed to flower, especially outdoors in New York. However, you might have luck with annuals grown inside in your grow lab. Here are three plants native to New York that should be commercially available as seeds: Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed), Gilia capitata (bluehead gilia), Mimulus guttatus (seep monkeyflower)

You might be better off going to a nursery that specializes in native plants and selecting some small bedding plants that are already well on their way. The children could still see them grow—adding leaves and producing buds that open as flowers and then mature into seeds.

If you go with established plants, perhaps you could select several native plants with different types of flowers to demonstrate how the important flower structures differ in various plants. You could choose plants with dramatic blossoms such as: Lilium canadense (Canada lily), Iris prismatica (slender blue iris), Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium)


Coreopsis tinctoria

Gilia capitata

Mimulus guttatus

Lilium canadense

Iris prismatica

Trillium grandiflorum

 

 

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