The Chemistry of Flowers

Introduction

We all know that everyone loves receiving flowers. Flowers can represent romance, friendship, comfort, and sorrow but no one really knows what they are made of or what their purpose is. I chose to do my project on flowers because I love to garden and make my garden pretty.


Composition of ...

Most people look at flowers and only see a stem, petals, and a few leaves. In reality, there are nine different parts to a flower. First there is the Peduncle which is the stem. Next is the Receptacle and that is where the parts of the flower are attached to the stem. Leaf life structures calls sepals surround a developing bud to protect it. The petals are the parts of a flower that are often vibrantly colored. Then we have the Stamen and the anther which are the pollen producing part of a flower. And lastly are the pistil, stigma, and the ovary. The pistil supports the stigma and ovary. The ovary is the basal portion of the pistil where ovules are produced and the stigma is where pollen germinates.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Linalool

  • C10H18O

  • naturally occurring terpene alcohol

  • gives flowers their scent

  • gradually breaks down when in contact with oxygen, forming an oxidized by-product that may cause allergic reactions

Ocimene

  • C10H16

  • isomeric hydrocarbons

  • contains oils with a pleasant odor

  • insoluble in water but soluble in common organic solvents

  • naturally occurring


Chemistry's Role

Chemistry’s role in flowers comes in during photosynthesis(6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy = C6H12O6 + 6O2) and respiration(C6H12O6+6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy). Photosynthesis is the process of capturing light energy and converting it to sugar energy, giving plants the ability to make their own food. Respiration is the process of metabolizing (burning) sugars to yield energy for growth reproduction and other life processes.

Background Research

Have you ever wondered how each flower gets its color? Well a flower’s petal color is determined by genetics just like how a humans eye color is based on genetics. Genes implant cells in the production of specific color molecules called pigments. Pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light thus giving each flower its own colors. The purpose of the color is to attract insects to help pollinate them. Pollination is the movement of pollen from one flower to the next for reproduction. The flower is the reproductive organ of the plant.

Resources


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Definition of: pigment, flower, pollination


https://www.nbclearn.com/chemistrynow/cuecard/53149

What determines the color of flowers?


http://www.compoundchem.com/2015/02/12/flowers/

chemicals responsible for flower scent

 

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/141.html

photosynthesis and respiration


http://www.amnh.org/learn/biodiversity_counts/ident_help/Parts_Plants/parts_of_flower.htm

Parts of a flower


http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/_E_-beta-ocimene#section=Chemical-and-Physical-Properties

Ocimene chemical information


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