The Plant Kingdom: Description of the Charts
THE NEEDS OF THE PLANT and The Menu of the Plant
This chart describes the basic needs that all plants have in order to actively participate in life. Plants absorb minerals that are dissolved in water through the roots in the ground. The roots take the minerals and water to all parts of the plant. The leaves of the plant absorb the Carbon Dioxide in the air for the process of photosynthesis, using the sun's energy. The leaves of the plant also breathe in the oxygen from the air.
HOW ROOTS MOVE IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WATER
Since water is essential to the growth of the plant and its basic survival, roots will seek water out in the soil if it is not immediately.
ROOTS OVERCOME ANY OBSTACLE
So strong is that need for the water and the minerals, the plant will not allow anything to be an obstacle. Roots will grow around large objects in order to obtain what it basically needs to survive.
GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY
By observing the leaves of a plant above the ground, we can understand the root system. The width of the leaf system corresponds to the root expansion below the ground. If the plant is long and thin, so is its root system, and so forth.
FROM THE DEAD TO THE LIVING, THE NITROGEN CYCLE
Nitrogen is essential to the life of a plant. Nitrogen gas, as it occurs in natural air, is not usable. The plant must first obtain nitrogen in a compound in order for it to obtain its full benefit. Lightning, decomposing matter, the roots of legumes, are three important factors in changing the nitrogen gas into a compound that will benefit the plant.
THE PISTON PUMP
Water will naturally go from an area of greater water content, to an area of less water content. It will naturally equalize its own pressure.
THE SUN'S DRINK
The liquids in a plant automatically proceed to the top of the plant. The full plant seeks out the light since the light is what enables the plant to produce nourishment.
THE SUN WORSHIPPERS
Plants are attracted to light because through this energy they are able to transform their substance into nourishment. Only with the light will chlorophyll work.
THE CHEMICAL LABORATORY
Tubes called xylem carry the water to the leaves on the plant. There, the chlorophyll is activated by the sun to work on the water and the carbon dioxide. A chemical change takes place and a simple sugar is formed. Oxygen is also formed and released into the environment. This is called photosynthesis.
HOW SEEDS TRAVEL
Seeds travel away from the mother plant in many ways. The wind often moves seeds great distances. Animal carriers also contribute to their relocation. Explosion is another way this mother plant releases the seeds or spores great distances. This enables plants to reproduce their species in other locations than the original environment.
HOW PLANTS ARE SUPPORTED
Some plants do not have a very strong stem, so they develop tendrils which support them by winding around sticks or poles, or the stems of other plants. Other plants which do not have strong stems crawl along the ground.
ROOTS: ANOTHER MEANS OF SUPPORT
This chart shows men holding the plant - anchoring it to the ground, so that when there is a strong wind, the plant is not pulled down.
HOW PLANTS DEFEND THEMSELVES
Plants also develop special organs to defend themselves. They need to protect themselves from animals - dryness - cold. In order to defend themselves from animals, the leaves and the stem of some plants are transformed into thorns. Then it is not possible for the animals to eat the plant.
Plants which grow in very dry areas transform their leaves and stem into water containers, and they can live without rain for a very long time. For example, a cactus plant.
Plants defend themselves from the cold by developing very thin pointed leaves, like needles, covered with a thick film which protects them from the cold. Plants which are not able to develop leaves like needles lose their leaves during the winter and "hibernate."
ALTERNATION OF GENERATIONS
This chart pictures the underside of the fern leaf, and the sporangium which opens and releases spores. The spores fall to the ground and germinate. The heart-shaped leaf, the prothallium, forms. In this little leaf, the male and female organs are formed. The female organs each produce one egg. The male organs produce spermatozoa. The spermatozoa join with the egg to form a new little plant.
LOVE IN PLANTS
Flowers are dressed in beautiful colors and give off a sweet perfume, which attract insects. This perfume draws the insect inside the flower where it sucks the sweet nectar. Pollen adheres to the insect's hair is carried by the insect to another flower. When the pollen is deposited on the flower, it develops a tail which grows down and fertilizes the egg. The egg is then transformed into a seed.
GO MY CHILD
This chart depicts a mother plant saying farewell to her child, a seed. The mother has provided the child with food to sustain his life until he is able to make his own. Sometimes the seed is covered with a fruit, which is a protection to the little seed, as well as a means to transport it far from the mother plant. The fruit represents the ovary enlarged. It is not useful to germination of a seed. Its purpose is to attract animals who will take the fruit as food, and the seeds will be carried far from the mother plant.
THE FOUNTAIN OF TERRACES OR CUPS
The brown represents the soil and the blue, water. Some water is retained by the roots of a plant, and water filters through, slowed by the network of roots and soil, gradually working its way to streams and rivers. This principle of slowing the descent of water on the mountainside has been used in terraced gardens which work like this fountain of cups.
Control Of Error
Points Of Interest