Even thought we have had very few days of ice and snow, many of the plants have still prepared them selves for winter.
To survive the harsh conditions of winter, many of the plants on the nature reserve have died back to the ground or shed all their leaves and become dormant (resting). People are often surprised to discover that plants have senses too. As winter approaches plants can detect the changes in their environment as the days grow shorter and colder. In response, plants produce chemicals that cause them to become dormant.
Even the vegetation along the banks of the Leighside pond and water ditches has died back over the winter and the pond area is now very exposed. Some of the plants around the pond are carefully managed by the nature reserve warden to make sure the pond does not become overgrown.
As winter becomes spring the amount of daylight hours slowly increases and the air becomes warmer. This triggers plants to produce chemicals that will cause the plant to start growing again.
But we have had a very mild winter this year. Have a look around your school grounds or your garden and you will probably spot at least one plant that is flowering earlier than normal.
Spring is an amazing time. We have noticed that a lot of our daffodils have come up ‘blind’ this year. Why is that?
Hello Punnetts Town Primary. Interesting observation of your daffodils and thank you for your question. It may be possible that the flowers have yet to develop and that after producing leaves the bulb became dormant in colder weather – I have a few in my garden that looked like they were not going to produce flowers and then did much later. Bulbs coming up blind can be due to warm, dry winter – however this year we have had a warm wet winter. Also bulbs only have a limited life, new bulbs are produced by the (mother) bulb (which then… Read more »