science project: effect of aspirin on flowers

Beverly Erlebacher bae at
Mon Feb 12 19:31:25 EST 1996

In article <4fluqq$jps at> RXSE93A at (Phil Branstetter) writes:
>I am doing a 7th grade science project.  The question is what is the 
>effect of aspirin in the water of cut flowers.  I thought it was supposed 
>to extend their life but they turned brown at the stem and became limp.  
>Is there any truth to the benefit of aspirin?

How much aspirin did you use?  Did you do a control?  You should try
putting flowers of the same type, cut at the same time, in equal amounts
of plain water (this is your control), and water with several different
concentrations of aspirin.  Different concentrations may work differently
for different kinds of flowers.  Too much aspirin may be worse than plain
water.  Aspirin may be more or less effective depending on how fresh the
cut flowers are too.

If you design your experiment carefully, you should be able to draw
conclusions like "One aspirin per x amount of water makes (this kind 
of) freshly cut flowers last n times as long without wilting than plain
water, but one aspirin per y amount of water is worse than no aspirin
in prolonging freshness".

It's usually a good idea to make a fresh cut before putting cut flowers
in water with or without additives, since the cut end seals up when it
dries, and the stem can't take in more fluid.

Beverly Erlebacher
Toronto, Ontario Canada

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