amazed to learn how tiny the seeds of many beautiful flowers are. Imagine: all
that energy to produce all those stalks, leaves and flowers, from such an
eentsy little seed!
also get a charge out of the hide-and-seek process of finding the seeds in the
spent flowerheads of the season before.
Queen Anne's Lace in the field.
Close-up of a Queen Anne's Lace flowerhead.
This student counted 22 seeds from one crushed Queen
Anne's Lace flowerhead.
It's a fun early spring activity to
collect wildflower seedheads that bore blossoms last summer, and put them in a
paper bag to bring home. If you don't have the wildflowers on your property,
then it's OK to walk along a country lane as long as you don't venture onto someone
else's property besides public ground. Or if you want to, just ask first!
And remember: never take more than
about 10% of the flowerheads you see. You don't want to disturb the balance.
working inside - out of the wind! -- over a plain white paper towel or a
napkin, kids can crush each head, and look at the chaff that falls to the white
surface. They will notice that there are a number of little "spots" that look
the same. Eureka!
Those are the SEEDS!
carefully collect and count their bounty, and soak and start some of them, and
trade or give away the rest.
It's best to keep seeds in small
paper bags, or insert moisture-retaining desiccant packets. They come with new
shoes, or you can purchase them in garden stores or online. Store seeds in labeled
plastic zip-lock bags or rigid containers.