Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How a Flower Becomes a Fruit

One of the best times to view fruit setting in our school courtyard is in late May/early June, when the berries are blooming.
Mrs. Gottlieb and Mrs. Gabrielson's third grade class went out last week with Mrs. Soukas and I to start some tomatoes and pumpkins, but on our way to the greenhouse, we stopped for a look at the berry patch. We saw blueberries, strawberries and even some blackberries in progress.

BLUEBERRIES start with a small white blossom that looks like a little tube, less than a centimeter in length.

If you look at the top of the blossom, you can see that the cap is starting to turn blue. This is the part that will swell to make the berry.

Once the petals drop off, the cap enlarges. The place where the flower was becomes the bottom of the berry.

In just a few weeks, we'll be putting them on our cereal!

STRAWBERRIES also start with a flower. It's a white flower with a yellow center.

Soon, after the petals drop off, the center will start to get bigger.

The berry goes from a yellowish green color

to white

to pink

to red.

Can't you just picture a big bowl of them with some whipped cream on top?

BLACKBERRIES have the biggest flower.

The middle becomes a greenish white

then changes to red and finally
Leave some for the birds! They really like berries.

How do you like to eat them?


Joanne said...

Thanks for the visual of the process. I like the blueberry pictures best, so interesting. The kids look really intent on the plants, what a great garden, and future gardeners you are cultivating. I like the berries plain, by the handful, like candy.

tina said...

Yum! You just reminded me I need to go check my blueberries. A fun post!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

The flowers in the first photo are facing downward.... but the fruits facing upwards. Interesting!!

~ bangchik

Lzyjo said...

MMMM!!! They all look so delicious! I love all berries, it's impossible for me to pick a favorite! The kids look like they're having so much fun! Cute!

Anonymous said...

We really had fun planting with you. We can't wait to take home our plants. Thanks!

JGH said...

Joanne - the kids get so excited when we go outside. They're taking a plant home soon so hopefully it will inspire them to garden.

Tina, hope you have some ripe ones soon.

Good observation Bangchik! There are a few blueberry bushes that I photographed and at least one of them has downward facing berries.

Liz, no problem if you can't pick a favorite, but raspberries are mine-- we're not growing any of those, though.

Thanks, Anon (3rd grade class?!) See ya soon!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful time out with the kiddos and learning about fruit. That progression of pics on the strawberry made me want one or two or ten. I have eaten a lot of fruit this week. It's so much better in season.

Brigit said...

I can't ever recall growing vegies or fruit at school. I'm so glad it's happening now. I'm sure the children must love it, and they actually get to know where that strawberry in the fruit shop comes from.