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Task 3: Find the smallest and the biggest plant of the same species

Task 3: Find the smallest and the biggest plant of the same species

Monday 15th June - Sunday 19th June 2020

Background

Even within the same species, plants can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. What influences these differences in size? That is a big(!) question scientists are still trying to answer, but we know plants are very good at adapting their growth in response to many signals from the outside environment and other organisms (including us!).

For example, two genetically identical plants can grow very differently if you expose them to different temperatures, or if one is in the shade and the other in the sun.

Task

Find several plants of the same species to inspect on your daily walk and look for the smallest and the biggest examples. In what ways are their sizes different? Is one plant taller, bushier or leafier than the other is?  Does it have thicker stems? Do the plants have different numbers of flowers? Are there differences between their leaf sizes? What other things can you compare?

Look at the area where you found your two plants and consider what might have contributed to these differences.

Take photos of the species you have found, and share your investigation with other PlantTaskmasters by posting on Twitter - remember to include @slcuplants and #PlantTaskmaster in your Tweet so that we can share your findings. 

Please feel free to send questions about your big and little plants to our Twitter account @slcuplants, and join a chat with our scientists later this week.