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How to Dissect a Flower

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Spring is an exceptional time to take a closer look at the structure of a flower.

Many of the typical spring blooms, such as lilies, tulips, and daffodils, have clearly seen elements, which makes them excellent specimens for your students to study the structure of a flower.

One of the best ways to do this is through a flower dissection, but how does one perform such a dissection?

How to Dissect a Flower

Step 1: Choose a bloom.

The first step of a flower dissection is to go out and find a blossom to cut up.

You can purchase a lily or tulip from your local florist, or you can cut a spring bloom from your yard. Either way, make sure that you choose a flower with clearly defined parts.

Step 2: Observe the flower.

Once you have your flower chosen, have the student observe the parts of the flower.

At the bare minimum, point out the petals, pistil, and stamen. Allow the student to use a magnifying glass to observe the parts of the flower even closer. 

Step 3: Dissect the male parts.

Now that the student has identified the most basic parts of the flower, use a razor to remove the stamen.  

Then, observe the filament and anther with a magnifying glass.  Gently wipe some of the pollen onto a slide with a q-tip and examine it under a microscope.  Finally, cut the stamen and anther in half and use a magnifying glass to take a closer look.

You may want to also look at these parts under a microscope to see if you can observe the cells that make up the male parts of the flower.

Step 4: Dissect the female parts.

For the last step of your flower dissection, begin by removing the pistil from the flower. Observe the ovary, stigma and style of your flower with a magnifying glass. 

Cut the structure in half and use a magnifying glass to take a closer look. If your flower is large enough, you may be able to observe the ovules.

You may want to also look at these parts under a microscope to see if you can observe the cells that make up the female parts of the flower.

Wrapping it up

After you have finished dissecting your flower you can also spend some time examining the stem and leaves with a magnifying glass and under a microscope.

Do you want a full science curriculum with this activity? Check out Biology for the Logic Stage or The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume 3: Botany.

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  • Paige Hudson
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