Janice M. Glime jmglime at MTU.EDU
Tue Mar 12 20:19:26 EST 1996

> David Hersey asked a very good question:  were some flowers cut on the red
> dye side and some on the blue dye side.  The flowers I examined yesterday
> were not sufficiently labelled by our investigating students to be sure,
> but today I was seeing different results and inquired further.  The class
> today was getting lots of half blue and half red flowers.  Then I was
> really puzzled.  However, when I inquired about treatments, I found that
> the two-colored flowers had been cut on the blue side and the one-colored
> blue flowers had been cut on the red side.  Now we have lots of new
> questions for students to investigate, and I am trying to figure out where
> to get some lab time for them to design follow-up experiments.  Thank you
> for the suggestions to clear the stems.  I am hoping to get at least one
> student to follow up on that for us.  
> Someone asked where I found this experiment.  The original use of dye with
> carnations was my own, but I am sure others have done the same - it was an
> easy wheel to re-invent.  Some of my students actually did the split stem
> experiment last year when they were doing the conduction to time the rate
> of movement of the colored dye.  I also got the idea to test sucrose from
> its somewhat widespread use in horticulture and have done that for 10
> years.  The horizontal cut was added this year as my own idea, and
> students could choose what they wanted to test among soft drink, aspirin
> (buffered or unbuffered), and sugar.  Now I hope we can try cut red vs cut
> blue and clear the stems to try to determine how the color gets to the
> entire flower from one side of the stem.
> For anyone wanting to try any of these experiments, slightly wilted
> flowers work much faster than fresh ones.  Fresh ones may not show
> anything by the end of lab and may not take up enough dye to remove them
> at the end of lab and put them in water or water plus one of the above
> "preservatives."
>   Are there any anatomists out there who know anything about carnation
> (Dianthus) vascular anatomy?

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