Year 3 in Irchester wanted to know “Do plants hibernate?” so we took to the wildlife area to find out. We have a large pond there and have noticed lots of duckweed growing. Last winter, the pond completely froze over for a few weeks so the plants must be able to stay alive somehow.
We took a sample back to Lab_13 and found we had two species – Spirodela and Lemna. Spirodela look like tiny lilypads and Lemna are even tinier about the same size as a full stop. We planned experiments to replicate winter temperatures.
We observed there were lots of black round things at the bottom of our beakers and they are called turions. They sink to the bottom of ponds during the winter when the plant goes dormant (like sleeping) and then once the temperatures begin to warm up they begin to germinate again and cover the pond just like the year before!