Experiments at the Children's Desk - Colorful Celery

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This experiment shows how plants absorb water—which usually would not create a change in the color of the plant because water usually has no color. We wanted to see how celery absorbs water by using food coloring!

First, we put the celery stems (called  the petiole) in colorful jars of water. 

Eventually, the petiole and leaves of each stem absorbed some of the color. This is because the celery petiole has tiny tubes that the water travels through. If this celery was still in the ground, its roots would absorb the water from the ground.

The blue food coloring yielded the prettiest result, whereas the yellow gave us the most unnoticeable result (as we predicted since it's such a light color and very similar to the celery leaves). We then decided to combine some colors: we placed the stalk from the yellow jar into the red, and moved the stalk from the red jar into the blue. What do you think we were hoping to achieve?

The stalk that we put in red water after yellow definitely gave us orange--but check out the photo on the right: that's the stalk we moved from red into blue. Instead of just blending, we ended up with leaves of many different colors! We think perhaps this was due to the initial stalk itself--its foliage was slightly withered to begin with.

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