Sunflowers in the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden

Have you seen the sunflowers in the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden this month? Let’s take a closer look to see what’s going on.

PHOTO: Sunflower nodding down toward the ground.

Many of the blossoms have lost their yellow petals and are bending down.
We need to take a closer look.

PHOTO: Very close up picture of a sunflower.

Just a little closer …

PHOTO: Extreeme close up of the middle of a sunflower, showing the tiny florets and sunflower seeds.

There!

Now you can see that one sunflower is actually made of hundreds of very small flowers. Notice the tiny, yellow, pointed petals of the individual flowers. Each blossom produces one seed. You can see the seeds where they have matured at the top edge of this sunflower. Can you find the spot where one seed is missing? Perhaps it fell out or was eaten by bird.

Sunflowers are what we call “composite” flowers, so named because they are composed of many florets growing so close together they appear to be one flower. If you look carefully at the arrangement of the flowers and seeds, you might notice a spiral pattern.

Other composite flowers you may know are daisies, dandelions, and mums. There are many composite flowers blooming at the Chicago Botanic Garden right now. Come for a visit to check it out, and bring your favorite magnifier so you can take a closer look at the real thing.

Visit chicagobotanic.org/learningcampus/growinggarden for more information on the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden.

Camp CBG Registration is Open

Summer camp seems far away, but Camp CBG registration is open early this year. Discover what makes these camps unique, with 75% of the time spent outdoors learning about the natural world. New this year are two-week camps for 6-9 year olds. Learn more at http://www.chicagobotanic.org/camp/summercamp.

How to Decorate Gingerbread Houses

Pastry chef Kathy Skutecki shows you how to decorate gingerbread houses like the ones she made for the entrance to the Wonderland Express exhibition. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland for more information.

Wonderland Express Opens Friday!

The trains, buildings and snow in Wonderland Express — don’t miss experiencing it yourself in person!