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Chapter 7

■ Have you thanked a plant today? This might sound like a silly question, but it really is
■ Every time you eat something, the food has come from a plant or an animal that ate
plants. The oxygen you breathe was made by a plant. Even the energy in fossil fuels
was captured by plants millions of years ago. There is no escaping them. Without
plants there would not be any animals.
■ Plants are very interesting living things. Their life processes can be studied in
experiments. This chapter is about studying plants and how they work.


4.3 identifies areas of everyday life that have been affected by scientific developments
4.4 identifies choices made by people with regard to scientific developments
4.5 describes areas of current scientific research

KNOWLEDGE AND 4.14 follows a sequence of instructions to undertake a
first-hand investigation
UNDERSTANDING 4.15 uses given criteria to gather first-hand data
4.8.4 multicellular organisms 4.17 evaluates the relevance of data and information
a identify that there is a wide range of 4.19 draws conclusions based on information available
multicellular organisms 4.21 uses creativity and imagination to suggest plausible
b identify that tissues, organs and organ systems solutions to familiar problems
in multicellular organisms consist of different types 4.22 completes a variety of individual and team tasks
of cells with guidance
c explain why multicellular organisms require
specialised organs and systems VALUES AND ATTITUDES
d identify the materials required by multicellular 4.24 respects different viewpoints and is honest, fair
organisms for the processes of respiration and and ethical
photosynthesis 4.25 recognises the relevance and importance of lifelong
e describe the role of the root, stem and leaf in learning and acknowledges the continued impact of
maintaining flowering plants as functioning science in many aspects of everyday life
organisms 4.26 recognises the role of science in providing
information about issues being considered and in
SKILLS increasing understanding of the world around them
4.13 clarifies the purpose of an investigation and, with
guidance, produces a plan to investigate a problem
Looking at plants Features of plants as living things
Classification of plants into five groups
Leaves Functions of a leaf
Structure of the leaf is related to its function
How plants make food Photosynthesis
Roots Function of roots and root hairs
Fibrous and tap roots
Mutualism in legumes
Water in plants Xylem and phloem cells
Stomates in leaves
Flowers Purpose and structure
Life cycle of plants
Seeds and fruit Dispersion of seeds and fruit
Seeds and fruit as food

Looking at plants
Plants are special because they make their own cytoplasm
cell membrane nucleus
food. Plants do not have a mouth and intestines, chloroplast
instead they have leaves. All they need is energy
from the Sun and some simple substances in the
Plants use the green chemical in their leaves to
capture the energy in sunlight—solar energy. This nuclear membrane
energy is converted into chemical energy, and cell wall A plant cell
stored in the energy-rich substances we call food. Plants can be classified (= sorted) into the five
Plants use this food for their own life processes. groups according to their methods of reproduction.
All animals, including ourselves, need food and There are, of course, many other differences. The
oxygen to survive. Both of these come from main features of plants are shown in the table
plants. When we eat plants we are obtaining the below.
food that plants have made. The oxygen that
animals breathe is made at the same time as food Table of plant types
is made. So it is true that all animals, including The plants we see the most are flowering plants.
people, need plants in order to survive. Their biological group name is angiosperms,
Plants are one of the five kingdoms, or big which means ‘covered seeds’. Flowering plants
divisions, of living things. Plants have cells that have flowers which develop into seeds and fruit.
are different to other groups. Plant cells have They have stems with special tubes which carry
three special features. All plants make their own food and water, and they have roots which absorb
food using the chemical chlorophyll. Chlorophyll water and minerals from the soil. And don’t
is contained in packets in the cells called forget the leaves, which make food and oxygen.
chloroplasts. Plant cells are surrounded by a cell Forests have less obvious but equally important
wall, which helps support the cell. Within the uses. Trees provide us with some of our most
plant cells are large vacuoles that store food important daily resources, such as timber and
materials in solution (dissolved). The vacuoles paper. In addition to this, they help in controlling
take up more than half of the space in the cell. erosion and soil salinity. Forests also help absorb

Plant group Description Examples

Algae Live in damp places, mostly Slime, seaweed, kelp
in water, usually small, mostly
green but can be brown
or red
Bryophytes Small green plants, grow Mosses, liverworts,
on soil, rocks or other plants, hornworts
produce spores (tiny
reproduction cells), which
are spread by air or water
Trees are grown to provide timber and
Ferns Green plants, grow on soil Tree-ferns, bird’s nest paper for people
or other plants, produce fern, bracken
spores on back of leaves
Gymnosperms Woody trees and shrubs Conifers, cycads, ginkgo
with male and female
cones, thin leaves
Angiosperms Flowering plants, have Grasses, cereal crops,
flowers with male and gum trees, grevilleas,
female parts, the most roses, azaleas, fruit
common plants we see trees Parks and gardens have a variety of plants


the carbon dioxide which has been Flowers

• organs of reproduction
released by the burning of fuels.
• develop into fruits which
Plants provide most of our food. The
disperse the seeds
practice of food production is called
agriculture. Large areas of land are
devoted to growing wheat, canola, corn and
cotton for human use. Plants such as
• flat to capture solar energy
lucerne are grown as food for farm animals. to make food
As well as food for people, plants are • cool the plant on a hot day
also the food for animals. Even the animals • release oxygen to the air
which provide us with food, like milk and for animals to breathe
meat, all eat plants. Plants and plant prod-
ucts provide us with timber, cloth such as
cotton and jute, and medicines.
Many people grow plants around their
• holds the leaves and flowers
homes. Growing plants, for decoration and
• transports water and food
for food, is a very important industry. You solution (sap)
can buy many different plants at nurseries
to grow in a garden or in a pot indoors.
These plants are often decorative. Many Roots
gardeners plant native species in their • hold plant in the soil
garden. Such species attract native birds to • absorb water and dissolved
the areas in which they grow. The art of minerals from the soil
plant-growing is called horticulture. A • store food
scientist who studies plants is referred to as
a botanist. The parts of a flowering plant



Plants are special because they make their ___ ____. All they need is ______ from the _______ and some simple
__________ in the ___________.
All _______, including ourselves, need ____ and ______ to survive. Both of these come from ______. When we ___
plants we are obtaining the ____ that ______ have ____. The ______ that animals _______ is made at the same
time as ____ is made. So it is ____ that all _______, including ______, need ______ in order to survive.

QUESTIONS 5 What is in food which makes it essential for every

living thing?
1 Plants are essential to our survival because they
6 Match the parts of a plant (flower, leaf, stem, root)
provide us with two needs. What are these two
with the following descriptions:
needs? What other materials do plants provide?
a solar panel
2 What is b anchor
a an angiosperm c produces seeds and fruit
b a botanist d food factory
c horticulture e transport corridor
d a gymnosperm f sponge to absorb water
e a nursery g tower which holds leaves to face the sunlight
f agriculture? h absorbs carbon dioxide from the air.
3 Name the five groups of plants. Why are they 7 a Name ten plants that are grown to supply food for
classified in this way? What are the main features people.
of each group? b Name three plants that are grown as decorative
4 What are the three special features of plant cells? plants.
Leaves are the solar-powered food factories of Most photosynthesis occurs in leaves. Leaves
plants. To make food, plants need sunlight and the are flat to absorb the maximum amount of
chemicals called carbon dioxide and water from sunlight. Their cells have a large number of
the environment. They also need a small amount chloroplasts.
of minerals from the soil or from fertiliser. Some sunlight passes through to the leaves
The production of food is called photosynthesis. below. The main function of leaves is to make
This word is made of two parts: photo (=light) food for the plant. Leaves are flat so that carbon
and synthesis (=making or manufacture). dioxide can diffuse in and oxygen can diffuse out.
Photosynthesis happens with the help of the Water comes from the roots through the stem
green chemical called chlorophyll in leaves. Only into the leaves. Leaves are in the sun every day
plants have chlorophyll, but not all green organisms and get quite hot. They can be cooled by evapo-
contain chlorophyll. A green grasshopper and a rating some of the water from the roots.
green spider must eat food like other animals;
they are green only so they can camouflage
AIM: To extract chlorophyll from

themselves and hide from predators.
Photosynthesis is the combination of carbon leaves
dioxide, water and solar energy, in cells which This experiment has been set out like a recipe.
contain chlorophyll, to make glucose (sugar) and Make sure that there is no heat source that
oxygen. Glucose is the food produced by plants. It could ignite the methylated spirits. Use soft
contains the energy they need for life. leaves, such as nasturtium or impatiens.
1 Boil 150 mL of water in a 250 mL beaker.
2 Place a soft leaf in the boiling water for 1 to 2
minutes.This breaks the cell structure in the leaf.
The upper skin of the leaf. Chloroplasts are tiny discs 3 Turn off and remove the Bunsen burner or
It has a layer of wax on it inside cells that contain
called a cuticle. This makes chlorophyll. They trap light hotplate, or other heat source.
the leaf waterproof. energy for photosynthesis. 4 Place the leaf in 20 mL of methylated spirits
in a 50 mL beaker. Place this beaker in the
hot water in the 250 mL beaker. See the
upper picture. Caution: Methylated spirits is very
(skin cells) flammable. Ensure that every Bunsen burner is
turned off before you begin this step.
5 Jiggle or agitate the leaf using tongs until the
methylated spirits is deep green, and the leaf
is white.
6 Wash the leaf. It can be saved for the next
experiment, or discarded.
epidermis 250 mL beaker, with
(skin cells) 150 mL water

This layer of cells in the Special cells called stomates 50 mL beaker, with
middle of a leaf makes glucose open and close to let gases 20 mL methylated spirits
by photosynthesis. and water vapour go in and
out of the leaf. Extracting chlorophyll
Cross-section of a leaf
The chlorophyll is now in solution in the
methylated spirits. This is needed for the next


Special cells called stomates

are embedded in the skin of AIM: To separate the components of chlorophyll

leaves. Stomates open and close by chromatography
to allow the diffusion of carbon
The chlorophyll in leaves is really a mixture of different types of
dioxide and oxygen, and the
chlorophyll. They can be separated by paper chromatography. Set
evaporation of water for cooling.
up the experiment as shown in the diagram. As the solvent moves
The parts of a leaf are shown in
up the paper, the different types of chlorophyll can be seen at
the diagram on page 138.
different positions.
Trees that lose their leaves in
Greg your name, date
winter are called deciduous. The 16 March and class
leaves turn different shades of S3
red and orange before falling.
Trees which keep their leaves all chromatography
year round are called evergreen. paper

test tube

spot of

level of solvent

spirits solvent
Chromatography paper from a completed
Deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn Chromatography of chlorophyll experiment



Leaves are _____ powered ____ _________ of plants. To make ____, plants need ________ and the chemicals called
______ _______ and _____ from the environment. In addition, they need a small ______ of ________ from the
____ or __________.
The production of ____ is called ______________. Photosynthesis happens with the ____ of the _____ chemical in
leaves called ___________. Only green plants have chlorophyll.
Most ______________ occurs in ______. Leaves are ____ to absorb the _______ amount of ________. The structure
of ______ is designed to help in the making of ____, the _______ of the ____ and ________ of carbon dioxide and

QUESTIONS 6 What is the difference between deciduous and

evergreen trees?
1 Why are leaves called food factories?
7 Grasshoppers cannot make their own food like
2 What is photosynthesis? leaves, yet they are green. Why?
3 If you put a healthy potted plant into a dark 8 If you covered a leaf with vaseline so that the
cupboard for a month, what would happen to it? stomates were blocked, how would this affect
4 In what part of cells, and what part of leaves, does the leaf?
photosynthesis take place? 9 Most plants have leaves that are flat. Give two
5 What are the function or role of these parts of leaves: important reasons for this.
a cuticle 10 Some people claim that chlorophyll is the most
b stomates important chemical in the natural world. Explain
c epidermis why this could be true.
How plants make food
Plants make their food in the process called 3 Glucose provides the energy and materials to
photosynthesis. They use carbon dioxide, water make other chemical substances needed by the
and solar energy to make food in the form of a plant. These include starches, oils, proteins and
sugar called glucose. They make oxygen at the vitamins. To make some of these compounds,
same time. Glucose is the basic food needed by the minerals nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus
the cells in all plants and animals. need to be obtained. These are usually dissolved
Once glucose has been made, it can be used for in the water taken from the soil by the roots.
a variety of purposes:
1 Glucose provides the energy to keep the plant
cells alive. The energy is released in parts of the
AIM: To show that light is required

cells called mitochondria. The energy is available
at any time of the night or day. for photosynthesis
2 Glucose provides the energy and materials to This is easily tested by placing a small strip of foil
build new cells. The glucose is joined over part of the leaf. The foil stops light from
together to make cellulose, which builds cell reaching the chlorophyll in the cells under it.
walls. This is a part of the plant’s normal Select a healthy leaf growing on a plant in the
growth. New cells are also needed to grow sun and place the foil over a part of it. Do not
flowers, fruits and other special parts. pull the leaf off the tree until you are ready to
start boiling it.
AIM: To test for the presence of

starch in leaves
healthy leaf
When a leaf makes glucose, the glucose is
quickly converted to starch. Testing for starch is
easily done with a solution of iodine. Iodine strip of metal foil
turns blue-black when starch is present.You can Foil strip placed in position over a leaf
see the colour by putting a drop of iodine onto
Before starting this experiment, plan carefully.
bread or potato.
■ What is your hypothesis?
Remove the chlorophyll from the leaf as
■ How long should you leave the foil strip over
described in the previous section. Put the
the leaf?
whitened leaf on a watchglass, and add a few
■ Should the leaf be in the sun, or in the shade?
drops of iodine. The parts of the leaf with starch
■ What will be your results if your hypothesis is
in them will turn blue-black. It is lucky for us that
starch is insoluble in both water and methylated
■ What will be your results if your hypothesis is
not correct?
■ How will you perform the experiment?
■ Will you have enough time to complete the
experiment in one lesson?
■ What safety precautions should you follow?

Leaf with positive iodine test

Leaf after experiment


4 Glucose can be stored for future use, such as in The plant food you buy in a shop does not
the winter. Most plants store their food as contain glucose. This plant food is called fertiliser.
starch. Glucose, which is soluble, can diffuse It contains the minerals needed to make the plant
out of the cell. Starch is made by joining healthy. The fertiliser is added to the soil, and the
together many glucose molecules. Starch is minerals enter the plant through the roots.
insoluble, and cannot move out of the cell Adding too much fertiliser can injure or kill a
through the membrane. The starch is plant. Plants growing in the bush and wilderness
converted back into glucose when needed. areas obtain their nutrients from the decay of
leaves, bark and other plant material.
Plants make the oxygen which animals breathe.
Animals make the carbon dioxide which plants
breathe. In this way, oxygen and carbon dioxide
AIM: To confirm that oxygen is

are cycled between plants and animals. This is

produced during photosynthesis called the oxygen cycle, and is shown in the
Using a water plant, a large clean beaker, a filter diagram below.
funnel and a test tube, set up the experiment
shown. How would you test the gas that is Carbon dioxide
produced to see if it is oxygen?

gas collected

water fills the


inverted filter
The water plant
water plant
The oxygen cycle



Plants make their ____ in the process called ______________. They use ______ dioxide, _____ and _____ energy to
make ____ in the form of a sugar called _______.
Once _______ has been ____, it can be ____ for a variety of ________.
1 Glucose provides the ______ to keep the _____ cells _____.
2 Glucose provides the ______ and _________ to build ___ _____.
3 Glucose provides the ______ and _________ to make other chemical __________.
4 Glucose can be ______ for ______ use. Most plants _____ their food as ______.
Oxygen and carbon dioxide are ______ between ______ and _______. This is called the ______ cycle.

QUESTIONS 2 What is glucose used for once it has been made?

3 What is the test for starch in leaves? Describe the
1 Complete the following diagram by listing the inputs
colour changes.
and outputs of photosynthesis.
4 What is in plant food? Is it really food like animals
Photosynthesis can eat?
Inputs Outputs
(what is needed) (what is made)
5 What is an advantage of starch over glucose as a
chemical for storing food?
6 Explain the connection between plants, animals,
oxygen and carbon dioxide. What is this called?
When you look at a plant growing in soil, you are
seeing only part of it. A large part of the plant is
underground. It is called the root or root system.
The part of a plant above the ground is called the
shoot system.
Roots are an important part of plants. They
hold the plant in the ground, so it will not get
blown over or washed away. They also absorb
most of the water that plants need, and all of the
minerals. The minerals travel from the roots to
the stem, and then to the leaves. Roots also store
food where it cannot be eaten by most animals.
The main function of roots is to collect water.
To do this, they need a large surface area so they
can collect the maximum amount of water. This is
important in dry weather when plants need extra
water. Root hairs are tiny growths from root cells.
They grow out between the grains in the soil and
absorb most of the water needed by the plant.

Tap root Fibrous root

Tap and fibrous roots

sideways from the trunk. These are called buttress

roots. Mangrove trees grow in water but their
Root hairs absorb most of the water needed by the plant roots need air. Their roots have ‘breathing tubes’
pointing upwards. You can easily see these at low
In most plants, the total length of roots is tide.
longer than the system of shoots. When we pull Many native plants have fungi called
a weed out of the ground most of the roots are mycorrhiza (mike-or-iser) that live in association
broken and stay in the soil. To see all the roots, with the roots. The fungi help absorb nutrients
you have to dig out all the plant and soil, then from the soil for the plant, and fungi receive sap
carefully wash away the soil. in return.
Plant roots are either fibrous roots or tap roots. Legumes are a special type of plant. They have
A tap root is a long, deep root which is an nodules (= little lumps) on their roots which
extension of the stem or trunk. It has small roots contain bacteria called rhizobium (rise-obe-ium).
growing out of the side. Fibrous roots are thin These bacteria take nitrogen from the air in the
and grow in many directions. soil and convert it into a chemical called nitrate.
Not all roots grow underground. Some orchids Nitrate is an excellent fertiliser, and plants need it
grow high in trees, and their roots do not reach to make protein. Some common legume plants
the ground. They absorb water from rain and the are peas, wattles and clover.
minerals washed down from rotting leaves. Old Hydroponics is a way of growing plants in
fig trees have large roots which stick out water. The nutrients that the plant needs are


AIM: To observe the growth of roots

in carrots and onions
1 Neatly cut the top off a carrot. (The carrot you
eat is the root of the carrot plant.) Do not use
a frozen carrot. Place the top into a shallow
dish of water, on top of some cotton wool to
hold the moisture. Leave it for some weeks.You
might need to add some water every few days
to keep the cotton wool moist. The carrot will
grow roots and then green shoots.
2 Place an onion bulb in water, as shown, and The growth of a carrot top The growth of onion roots
watch the roots grow. The roots grow in about
two weeks, and after about eight weeks the
shoot will start growing.

AIM: To observe the roots on a


small plant
Ask your teacher or school caretaker to dig out a
small plant, such as a weed. (You could grow the
plant especially for this experiment.) Try to keep
all the roots intact.
Hold the plant and gently wash the soil away
from the roots. Start at the bottom of the roots
and work upwards so that the weight of the wet
soil will not tear off the roots. What types of
roots do you see?

dissolved in the water. To make sure that air

reaches the roots, the plants are grown on a gauze
The ‘breathing tubes’ of mangroves Buttress roots on a fig tree
screen or air is bubbled through the water. can be seen at low tide



A large part of a plant is ___________. It is called the ____ or root ______. The part of a plant above the ______
is called the shoot ______.
The main ________ of roots is to collect _____. Root _____ absorb most of the _____ needed by the plant.
Plant roots are either _______ roots or ___ roots.
_______ are a special type of plant. They have _______ on their roots which contain special ________.

QUESTIONS 5 What are some foods which we derive from roots of

1 What is the difference between a root and a shoot?
6 What is hydroponics?
2 What is the function of roots?
7 Wheat farmers often plant a crop of clover or peas
3 Why are root hairs important? after harvesting one crop and before planting the
4 What is a legume? Why are they important? new crop. They plough the clover or peas into the
ground. Why do they do this?
Water in plants
Water is needed by all living things, including stomate
plants. Plants receive most of their water from the leaf
soil through their roots. A small amount of water
is absorbed through the leaves.
Water is essential for the survival of plants.
Water is conducted (= carried) from the roots to
the leaves in special parts of the plant called curved
guard cells
conducting tissue. Conducting tissue is the
transport system of plants. It is made up of special straight
guard cells
cells. Food, dissolved in water, is moved around wilted
the plant through these cells. leaf
The conducting tissues are called xylem
(‘zy-lum’) and phloem (‘flow-um’). Xylem carries
water upwards in the stem. It is made of dead
cells, arranged end-to-end to make a series of
tubes. One tube might extend from the roots to stomate
the highest leaves on a tree. Phloem is made of
Stomates—open and closed
living cells. An adjacent cell, called a companion
cell, supplies food to the phloem cell to keep it
alive. Each phloem cell is joined to the next one
AIM: To observe conducting tissue in

by a cell wall with holes in it. Phloem carries food
celery stems
to wherever it is needed, which could be upwards
Cut the bottom end off a celery stem and stand
to a growing tip or downwards for storage in the
the stem in water containing blue dye. The blue
roots. Plant sap is often sticky like honey because
water will be conducted up the xylem tissue.
of the sugars in it. Lots of insects eat the sap from
The dye stains the xylem blue. This takes 1 or 2
hours, depending on the dryness of the weather.
In a leaf, water is used for two essential
processes. One is photosynthesis (see page 140).
The other process is cooling the leaf. Cooling
happens when water evaporates. Water passes
from the xylem into the spaces in the leaf. From clamp to
there it evaporates through openings called prevent
stomates. The evaporation of water takes away heat celery from
falling (do not
from inside the leaf. This is called transpiration. tighten)

blue dye in

The conducting tissue

walls are thickened experiment
with discs made of
xylem cell wood-like material Tease apart the dyed strands. These are the
xylem cell xylem. What do they look like under the
dissecting (binocular) microscope?
companion cell

phloem cells xylem cells

cut open cut open

Phloem and xylem cells Xylem teased from celery


Stomates are small openings on the underside leaf and evaporating water. Some plants have
of leaves. They open and close to control the loss leaves rolled into a U-shape, with the stomates on
of water. On hot days the stomates open to let the inside where it is more humid. In other plants
water evaporate. Water vapour carries heat away the leaves hang down so only the edges face the
from the leaf. This is why it is important for plants midday sun. This prevents the leaves from
to be watered in hot weather. becoming too hot. Many desert plants have fewer
Desert plants live in an environment where stomates than plants in wetter environments.
water is scarce and evaporation high. Many
desert plants have adaptations (= special features)
AIM: To measure the evaporation of

to stop water loss. The stomates may be in a
hollow, or the back of the leaf may be hairy. The
water from leaves
hairs stop the hot dry air from blowing over the It is easy to collect the water which evaporates
from the leaves of plants. Fit a small plastic bag,
like a sandwich bag, over some healthy leaves on
a tree, such as a fruit tree. Secure the bag with
a wire tie. Condensation will quickly form in the
bag, and water collects as droplets within 1 day.
If you weigh the bag before and after, you can
estimate the amount of water which evaporates
from these leaves.
Can you work out how much water
evaporates from the whole plant in one day?
Stomates on the underside of a leaf
Can you think of a way of proving that the
liquid in the bag is water? A chemical test is best.



Water is essential for the ________ of plants. Water is _________ from the _____ to the ______ in special parts of
the plant called __________ tissue.
The conducting tissues are called _____ and ______. Xylem carries _____ upwards in the ____. Phloem carries ____
to wherever it is ______.
In a ____, water is used for two essential _________. One is ______________. The other process is _______ the
Stomates are small ________ on the _________ of ______. They ____ and _____ to control the loss of _____.

QUESTIONS 8 A favourite experiment in science displays is to place

a stem with a white flower into coloured inks. What
1 What is the job of conducting tissue in a plant? happens? What cells are involved?
2 What are the two types of conducting tissue? Which
type is made of living cells? Which type is made of
dead cells? Which type carries water? Which type
carries food?
3 Why do leaves need water?
4 What is a stomate? Draw an open and closed
stomate, and explain how they work.
5 Why is sap sticky?
6 Why do many insects eat sap? What conducting
tissue do they extract the sap from?
7 Imagine you are a molecule of water. You have
entered a plant root cell. Describe your journey from The white flower and coloured inks experiment
a root hair to an open stomate.
Flowers are important symbols in our society. We outside are the sepals, which are usually green.
write a message on a label and send it with a These protect the bud (= young flower) while it is
bunch of flowers. Flowers are the sign of love and growing. The petals are often brightly coloured to
new life. Florists are people who specialise in attract birds and insects. The male sex cells, called
selling and arranging flowers. pollen, are held high on stalks near the centre of
Flowers grow only on the group of plants the flower. The pollen can be blown from the
called angiosperms, or flowering plants. Flowers flower by the wind, or brushed off by animals.
are their way of reproducing. Most flowers have The female part of the flower, the stigma, is sticky
both male and female parts, although some plants or hairy so that the pollen attaches to it.
have flowers that are only male or female. Deep inside the flower is the nectary. It
Flowers vary in their size and appearance, but contains nectar, a mixture of sugar and water. It
they all have the same basic structure. On the is high-energy food which attracts insects and

AIM: To dissect a flower 4 Cut off the male parts


You can dissect any type of flower that you have at the bottom of the
available. A gladiolus (glad-ee-ol-us) flower is drawn petal. What colour is
here. They grow easily and are available in flower the filament? You
shops. A stalk that costs $2 might have 8 flowers should be able to dust lower end
of petal
on it. some pollen onto your
1 Place newspaper on the bench, and wear gloves. The male flower parts
Be very careful with knives and scalpels. Cut the
flower off the stalk. 5 Observe the female part of the flower. It has the
2 Observe the flower. Identify the main parts from stigma at the top and the ovary at the bottom.
the drawing. (You do not need to learn these Cut the ovary lengthwise. In it you will see tiny
names.) white scales, which are the ovules. When the
ovules are fertilised by the pollen, they will grow
MALE ORGANS FEMALE ORGANS to become seeds, and the ovary will grow to
Anther–produces Hairy or sticky become the fruit.
pollen grains stigma–holds pollen
grains style
Filament–holds Style–connects
the pollen stigma with ovary
Sepal–protects ovules which ovule
flower before develop into seeds
opening after fertilisation ovule

The main parts of a flower fleshy

3 Peel back the stigma ovary Section of ovary
part of
sepals and petals dissecting ovary
removed. Ovary later
the ovary
until they snap off. anthers, hold forms the fruit.
Look for the pollen
The female flower parts
conducting tissue
in the sepals and 6 Clean up your bench by wrapping the flower in
petals. Look for the the newspaper. Wash your hands and write a
style and anthers. ovary
report of the experiment. Draw a diagram of
The anthers hold the male and female parts of the flower.
the pollen. Flower with sepals and petals removed


animals to drink it. As they are drinking it they STAMEN stigma

rub against the pollen and transfer it to another
flower. The transfer of pollen to the stigma is
anther style
called pollination. The pollen is usually carried to
a different plant, but not always. Plants know petal
which pollen belongs to their species. They cannot
usually be pollinated by pollen from a different
type of plant.
Also deep inside the flower is the ovary. It ovary wall
contains the ovules. When pollen gets attached to cavity of ovary
ovule nectary
the stigma, it grows down into the ovary.
embryo sac
Fertilisation occurs when the pollen joins with an placenta
ovule in the ovary. The fertilised ovule grows into
a seed, and the ovary grows into the fruit. A cross-section through a flower, showing the different parts


Many plants are prized for their flowers A Pelargonium B Rose C Eucalypt D Primula



Flowers ____ only on the group of ______ called ___________, or flowering plants. Flowers are their way of
All flowers have the same _____ _________. On the outside are the ______. The petals are often brightly ________
to attract _____ and _______. The male ___ cells, called ______, are held high on ______ near the ______ of the
flower. The ______ part of the flower, the ______, is sticky or hairy so that the ______ attaches to it.
Deep inside the flower is the _______. It contains nectar, a mixture of _____ and _____.
Fertilisation occurs when the ______ joins with an _____ in the _____. The fertilised _____ grows into a ____, and
the ovary _____ into the _____.

QUESTIONS 6 The following drawing shows two flowers. Suggest

which is wind pollinated and which is insect
1 What is another name for the plants called pollinated, and give a reason.
angiosperms? Name some angiosperms.
2 What is the difference between pollination and pollen
3 What is the difference between:
a pollen and pollination nectar
b nectar and a nectary
c an ovary and an ovule
d a sepal and a petal? 7 The pollen of most plants is microscopic in size. Why
4 Name the male and female parts of a flower is pollen so small?

5 Many insects get nectar from flowers. Most of these 8 Rank these in sequence: pollination, fruit grows and
insects have hairs on their bodies. How does this seeds form, bud, fertilisation, flower.
help the flower? 9 What sort of work does a florist do?
Seeds and fruits
After a flower has been pollinated and fertilised, planted in the ground and there is moisture and
most of it withers and dies. The plant recovers the warmth. Some seeds lie dormant (= sleeping) for
important nutrients in the petals and stigma, a while before they germinate and grow into a
which then fall off. The ovules develop into the new plant.
seeds, and the ovary enlarges and becomes the fruit. A fruit with a brightly coloured juicy edible
The ‘fruit‘ we buy in shops are called fleshy outer layer, such as a cherry, entices a hungry
fruits. They include apples, bananas, tomatoes, animal or person to eat the fruit. There is a good
grapes and watermelons. They are soft and fleshy chance that the seeds will be spat out. If the seeds
inside and have soft or leathery skins. There are are swallowed their tough outer skin pro-
also dry fruits. They include peas, beans, grains of tects them as they pass through the digestive
wheat, and some nuts. Gum nuts are the hard, system. Some fruits stick to the fur or hair of
woody fruits of gum trees. They contain tiny seeds. animals. These fruits may drop off, or be
Fruits are a plant’s way of spreading its seeds. scratched off, a long distance from the parent
The spreading of fruits and seeds is called plant. Examples are burrs and ‘sticky-beaks’ or
dispersal. Trees cannot move to a new location, ‘farmer’s friends’. These fruits stick to your socks.
but their seeds and fruits can travel long In a tomato the seeds are compact in the middle
distances. Some fruits are blown around by the of the fruit. In peas the seeds are spread out in a
wind. Each dandelion ‘seed’ is actually a small dry long fruit we call the pod. When we eat a nut we
fruit. One end of the fruit is a parachute, and the are eating the seed. The fruit is a hard tough shell
other end contains the seeds. Seeds will that protects the seed. There are many types of
germinate (= sprout and grow) if they are fruits, such as berries.

Bud ×2 Flower ×1.5 Flower Developing Ripe fruit cross-section of lemon fruit
one week fruit × 0.5
after ×1

Stages in the development of a lemon fruit

Some different types of fruits. Can you recall which type of fruit is shown in each photograph? Some grass seeds and fruit
can be dispersed by the wind

Many fruits of Australian native plants can be made into foods such as bread, pasta and cakes.
eaten. These are traditional foods of Aboriginal Vegetable oils are obtained from dry fruits such as
Australians and are known as bush tucker. Many peanuts, olives, sunflowers and canola. They are
plants have medicinal uses and may contain used to make foods such as margarine, salad dress-
chemicals to ings and shortening. Spices such as dill, mustard
help in heal- and pepper come from seeds. Other important
ing injuries seeds are the cocoa bean (makes chocolate) and
and curing coffee. Many other products are made from seeds.
diseases. For example, many seed oils are used in soap and
Seeds con- paints, and cornflour is used to make adhesives
tain the cell and explosives.
to start a Over centuries, people have selected the biggest
new plant, and tastiest fruits to grow for food. They have
as well as a Callistemon has a wood-like fruit planted the seeds of these fruits to grow new
supply of food to use as it germinates. Most seeds plants that also have big, tasty fruit. Some of these
are small. The smallest seeds weigh less than one- plants can no longer reproduce themselves.
hundredth of a gram. The biggest seed is a Sultana grapes, for example, do not have seeds.
coconut, which can weigh 20 kg.
Like fruits, seeds are also dispersed in different
ways. Some are carried by the wind. Some seeds AIM: To find the best conditions to

have hooks or barbs which catch onto germinate bean seeds
animals. Some seeds, like coconuts, float for long Under the right conditions, bean seeds that are
distances. placed on cotton wool will germinate. What
Mistletoes are parasitic plants: that is, they live conditions do they need to germinate? What
on other plants. They produce lots of fruits that conditions make them germinate fastest? Set up
are eaten by birds. The sticky seeds pass though a similar dishes with seeds, and place some in the
bird’s digestive system and stick to branches of refrigerator, some in a dark cupboard, some
trees. Here they germinate and send roots into the without water, and so on.
branch of the tree. The mistletoe is then able to get Write a hypothesis about what seeds need to
its water and nutrients from the tree. germinate, and then design an experiment to
Seeds are an important source of food for test your hypothesis. Write your method and
people and animals. Cereal grains such as maize, show it to your teacher before starting.
oats, rice and wheat can be cooked and eaten, or



Apples and bananas are called ______ fruits. Other fruits are ___.
______ are a plant’s way of spreading its _____. The _________ of fruit and seeds is called _________.
Some fruits are _____ around by the ____. Most fruits are spread by _______. Animals will take ____ the ______
and eat them, and _____ the _____ behind.
Like fruits, _____ are also _________ in different ways. Some are carried by the ____. Some seeds have _____ or
_____ which catch onto animals. Some _____ float for long distances.
Seeds are an important source of ____ for ______ and _______.

QUESTIONS planted this fruit in the garden, could it grow into a

new plant? Explain.
1 Why do plants grow seeds and fruits?
6 This photograph shows
2 List some ways in which seeds are dispersed. a passionfruit. What is
3 List some ways in which fruit is dispersed. unusual about this
fruit? Think about the
4 Name some fruits which people eat. seeds and the space
5 People have produced seedless mandarins. If you inside the fruit.

AIM: To perform experiments with


joins made airtight with

vaseline or grease
There are many ways of finding out how much
water is needed by leaves and plants. Two methods
are described here. These experiments could be
done as a project. capillary tubing rubber tubing
(glass tube with (full of water) leafy twig
1 Select four similar leaves from a large plant. small hole)
Using cotton and string, tie them as shown in the A potometer
diagram below. Cover one leaf with paraffin wax
or petroleum jelly (vaseline) on both sides, one From a plant cut a stem with about 5 leaves on
on the top surface only, one on the bottom side it. The stem should be a tight fit into the rubber
only, and leave one untreated. tube. Put together the stem and tubes under
water, so that no air is present inside the rubber
tube. Seal the stem into the rubber tube with
vaseline. It should be air tight. Dry the
potometer with a paper tissue.
How quickly does the water move along the
glass capillary tube? What does this tell us about
the amount of water loss from a plant?
top and top side bottom neither side
bottom sides of leaf side of leaf of leaf coated Chlorophyll and leaves
of leaf coated coated with coated with with paraffin
with paraffin paraffin or paraffin or or vaseline A walk around a garden will show a range of
or vaseline vaseline vaseline different leaves. A few plants have red leaves, and
some plants have green and white leaves.
Measuring water loss in leaves Seaweeds, such as bull kelp (Durvillea potatorum)
and Neptune’s necklace (Hormosira banksii), are
Weigh each leaf, and leave them for a few days. often brown.
Weigh them again, and record their masses. Design an experiment to find the answer to the
Repeat regularly for two weeks. Record the mass following questions:
in a table.
1 Do red leaves contain green chlorophyll?
Weight of leaf
2 Can the red colour in red leaves be extracted,
Days since Both sides Top only Bottom only Uncovered and then separated by chromatography?
start covered covered covered
3 Do kelp and other seaweeds contain green
Check with your teacher before you start the
Table of results for weight of leaves

Use the data to answer these questions.

a Which leaf loses the most water?
b Using the weight loss of the uncovered leaf as
a guide, estimate the total weight loss of
water from a tree in a week and a day. (You
will have to estimate how many leaves are on
the tree.)
c Is your experiment valid? Did you eliminate all
the variables?
2 A simple device called a potometer is used to
see the movement of water into plant leaves. It
is made from capillary tubing, rubber tubing and
Colleus, a plant with red leaves
some leaves on a twig or stem.

AIM: To consider some extension 3 This diagram shows different leaves from the

experiments with plants same plant, sealed in plastic bags. One bag has
sodium hydroxide pellets in it. Sodium hydroxide
Here are some plant experiments. Think about
absorbs carbon dioxide gas from the air. The
each experiment and its description, and answer
leaves do not touch the sodium hydroxide.
the questions about each one.You can also do
empty plastic bag
the experiments if you wish. over branch
1 This diagram shows a healthy plant with a plastic with leaves
bag placed over different limbs. One limb has no
leaves, and the other is quite leafy.
plastic bag over
branch with no

plastic bag with sodium

hydroxide pellets, over
branch with leaves

a Which leaves would not be able to make

food? Explain why.
b What test could you perform to confirm that
plastic bag over no food has been made?
4 This diagram shows three test-tubes. The oil
a What will form in one plastic bag that will not
stops the water from evaporating. It was added
form in the other bag?
after the water and the plants, and does not
b What is this process called?
interfere with the plants.
c What is the purpose of this process?
d How did this substance get out of the leaf?
2 This diagram shows plastic bags over two pots.
Both pots have well-watered soil in them. One
pot has a healthy plant growing in it.
healthy plant

cotton cotton cotton

wool wool wool
well watered
pots in sealed
oil oil oil
plastic bags

water water water

a What is the aim of this experiment?

b Which test-tube is the control?
a What would you expect to happen to the
c What would you expect to happen in each
weight of each pot if left for a few days?
test-tube? Explain carefully.
b Explain why this happens, and name the
d How would the results differ if you did this
process involved.
experiment on a hot, dry day and a cold,
c What is the control in this experiment?
windy day?
How could you set up this experiment so
that the control is valid?
Review and Research
Review questions found in green leaves. Being the good science
student you are, you know that chlorophyll is
1 Fill in the missing word to complete each not pure and is found in all leaves, even purple
sentence correctly. leaves and brown seaweed.
a Stomates control the entry and exit of water Describe how to do the experiments below.
and air in ______. Include a diagram. The method and diagram
b Trees which do not lose their leaves in winter should take up one A4 page each.
are called _________.
c Water is carried up the stem in the special Experiment A Extract chlorophyll from leaves.
tissues called _____. Experiment B Show that chlorophyll is not pure.
d A long, deep-growing root is called a
_________ root. 8 The following diagram represents an
e The process of losing water to cool the plant experiment to show how plants and animals
is called _____________. live together. All three flasks were placed in
f The top waxy layer of a leaf is called the the sunlight. (The fish were later returned to
_______. a large tank.)
1 2 3
g Plants which have bacteria living in nodules
on their roots are called _______.
h The movement of food around a plant is
called __________.
i The conducting cells in plants are xylem cells
and ______ cells.
j The green chemical needed for photosynthesis water plant fish only water plant
is called ___________. only and fish
How plants and animals live together
2 What is the difference between a Which flask would contain the most oxygen
a photosynthesis and respiration? after an hour?
b xylem and phloem? b Which flask would contain the most carbon
c pollination and pollen? dioxide after an hour?
d translocation and transpiration? c If the fish were left in the flasks, in which
e deciduous and evergreen? one would they survive the longest?
f chloroplast and chlorophyll? d How does this illustrate the oxygen cycle?
3 Complete this diagram about the materials 9 Your teacher will photocopy for you the
needed and made by leaves. cut-out model of a leaf on page 230. Cut it
out, and fold and glue it into a rectangle. Draw
the cells on the blank end of the rectangle and
solar energy ____________ glucose 1. _______________ write labels on the lines. Labels should include
2. _______________ the name and function of the cells.
carbon dioxide __________ 3. _______________
4. _______________
water _________________ oxygen _________________
Thinking questions
1 The Indians of Central America relied on corn as
4 Iodine is an important chemical for studying their main plant food. It was their custom or
plants. What is iodine used for? belief to place a small fish beside the corn seed
5 Why are plants called ‘the universal food when it was planted. The fish was a gift to the
providers’? gods for the food that the plant would bring to
6 Is it true that life on Earth runs on solar Using your knowledge of science, explain why
energy? Explain your answer. the fish made the corn plant grow better than a
7 A school book you are reading says that plant with no fish beside it.
chlorophyll is a pure substance that is only

2 When Joanne was mowing the grass, she noticed Research questions
that the grass was much longer on the sunny
side of the house than on the shaded side. 1 Select one important plant, such as rice, wheat,
a Suggest a reason why grass grows differently cotton, cocoa (cacao) or canola. Draw a poster
in these different locations. showing the important parts of the plant, a map
b Joanne then wanted to test her idea using of where this type of plant is grown, and some
two potted plants, and she asked your advice. uses of the plant.
Draw a diagram showing what Joanne should 2 Legumes are plants which grow in close
do to test her idea. association with a type of bacteria. Many native
3 List some plants that provide us with: plants grow in an association with a fungus
a food b shelter called a mycorrhiza. What is the benefit of
c clothing d medicine. these relationships?

4 Jean-Baptiste van Helmont was a Flemish 3 Some plants produce large amounts of pollen,
biologist who lived in the early 1600s. At this and allow it to blow away in the wind. Pollen
time most people believed that plants obtained causes hayfever in many people.
their food from the soil they grew in. Van a What does pollen look like?
Helmont did an experiment to test this b How does a plant tell the difference between
hypothesis. the pollen from its own species and the
He dried some soil in an oven, and weighed pollen of another species?
it and a small willow tree. He then wet the c Explain why some people suffer from hayfever.
soil, put it in an earthenware pot, and planted 4 Find articles on unusual flowers and seeds, and
the small willow tree. Five years later he came draw or scan images of them. Explain what it is
back and dried the soil and the tree. His that makes them unusual or significant.
results are shown in the following diagram. Some suggestions are:
weight of plant
• Noogoorra burr
164 Ibs • Bathurst burr
74456 g
• the orchid that tricks the Ichneumon moth to
mate with it
5 Ibs
2270 g
5 years
• the unusual flower arrangements of orchids,
either introduced or native
Word check
angiosperm horticulture botanist
nursery adaptation chlorophyll
chloroplast vacuole deciduous
200 Ibs dry weight 199 Ibs evergreen chromatography photosynthesis
90 800 g of soil 90 743 g
glucose fertiliser iodine
Van Helmont’s experiment fibrous root hair buttress
legume xylem phloem
a Did the results confirm the hypothesis that sap conducting tissue stomate
plants obtain their food from the soil? condensation pollen pollination
b What precautions should van Helmont have species germinate
taken to ensure that his results were valid?
c The tree used a small amount of soil. What Concept map
was this soil used for? Draw a concept map for the ideas presented in this
d Where did the increase in mass of the tree chapter.
come from?
e Imagine that van Helmont had placed an
airtight glass jar over the willow tree. Do Looking at plants Features of plants as living
you think his results would have been the things
same? Explain your answer. Classification of plants into five
Leaves Functions of a leaf