- Define “heirloom” as it relates to seeds
- Describe some unique ways that seeds are presented by specific plant varieties
Every seed has a story. Some have an heirloom history. Often, the history or a particular heirloom goes back hundreds of years. Protecting the plant diversity of our planet is something that is important to us at Modern Steader.
For other plants, the story evolves from the unique nature of the plant itself. Some are strange looking while others have specific traits that make them truly unusual. For example, there are plants that only disperse their seeds based on a specific trigger, an environmental stimulus. This mode of dispersal is known as serotiny.
Plants like the pine, spruce, cypress, and sequoia of North America release their seeds following a fire, called pyriscence. This is a common trigger for conifers that typically seal cone structures shut with a resin that melts and releases in the presence of fire. No matter what defines it, every plant has a story to tell. And there’s no shortage of great stories out there so go explore the wonder of the garden!
Tools & Materials
- SMART Board or flat screen
Introduction (5 minutes)
Begin the lesson by describing what makes seeds unique. Explain the difference in seed dispersal, plant appearance, and storied histories of some notable varieties.
Activity (20 minutes)
Using a SmartBoard or flat screen, stream Modern Steader’s Crazy Cool Seeds Pinterest Board. Going through each image one by one, describe the unique nature of the seeds.
Discussion (10 minutes)
How are various seeds presented? How are they dispersed? Why do you think Mother Nature designed it that way? How do we plan for different dispersal methods when collecting seed in the Lab?
Assessment (10 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you think seeds are dispersed from the parent plant the same way for all plant varieties?
- Now that you know various ways that seeds are dispersed, how many of you think you could identify the dispersal method for the plants we grow in the Lab?
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