Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dinosaur plant

The boys received a Dinosaur Plant from one of their aunts this Christmas, and they were eager to get home to see what it would do.

According to the information that came with it, the dinosaur plant is one of the longest-living plants in the world. During the Carboniferous period, it grew to over 120 feet, but it mutated and became very small during the ice age. The plant is hygroscopic; when lacking water, the plant curls in on itself to "sleep", then blows around until it finds a source of water again. It does not need to bury its roots when it does find water, and the leaves and stems can uptake water directly. The plant can sleep for up to fifty years and still spring back to life within a day when placed in water!

The plant is currently native to Mexico and Texas, in desert and semi-desert regions.

We found that the plant did indeed open very quickly when filled with water. After a couple of weeks, we let the plant dry out and, as claimed, the plant soon curled up to "sleep".

A month later, we refilled the bowl with water and watched it wake up once again:

Adding the water

Starting point

Five minutes

Ten minutes

Twenty-five minutes

One hour

The center of the plant unfurled even further over the next couple of hours. This was fun to watch and discuss.


Science: Observation

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