How to dissect a spring bulb

See step-by-step directions for dissection and learning about a spring bulb!Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods, how about yours?

We have this amazing garden nearby that has thousands of flowers, like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, that come up year after year.

We learned about the crocus, another bulb flower, during our time in Siberia.

But today, we asked our favorite botanist, Fiona, to come back and share a fun, hands-on activity that your kids are sure to enjoy this spring!

Let’s get rolling…

The Sassafras Science Adventures by Elemental Science

Awrite laddies and lasses, my name is Fiona McRay. I am the resident botanist at Dockerty castle.

Spring ‘as arrived at the castle. Our bulbs are springing forth from the ground, displaying their floral beauts.

Every year, I set aside a bulb or two to dissect with the school kids when they come to visit the gardens. Blaine and Tracey asked me to share this process with you all and of course like any good Scottish lass would – I said, “Aye!”

How to Dissect a Spring Bulb

You will need the following:

  1. Bulb (A crocus, tulip, or daffodil bulb would work best, but garlic or onions will also work.)
  2. Knife
  3. Magnifying glass

Give a bulb to the students and ‘ave them take a closer look. You can ask the following questions:

  • Is the bulb hard or soft?
  • Is the bulb smooth or rough?

Then, ‘ave the students remove the outer papery covering and observe those while you cut the bulb in half.

Next, ‘ave the students use the magnifying glass to observe the inside of the bulb. Make sure they note the differences between the inside of the bulb and the outer covering.

If it is there, ‘ave the students also look for the beginning of the shoot within the bulb.

The bulb is really a portion of the stem that remains underground. It is swollen with layers of food that the plant uses as it grows a shoot. The papery outer coverings on the bulb are modified leaves that protect the food store.

Well, there you ‘ave it! I ‘ope your laddies and lasses enjoy it as much as mine do.

by Fiona McRay

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