Air is mostly made up of a gas called nitrogen. But about one-fifth of the air (21%) is oxygen – the gas our bodies use when we breathe.
All living things need oxygen in order to stay alive but plants, algae and a group of bacteria called cyanobacteria, can also make oxygen. These plants, algae and cyanobacteria make more oxygen than they use and the extra oxygen goes back into the air. So, the oxygen is sort-of recycled, rather than used up.
Plants like trees use their leaves to make oxygen. But what if there were no trees left on Earth – would there still be enough oxygen in the air for us to breathe?
Grasses are a family of plants that includes cereals, bamboo and the short green stuff that makes up garden lawns. They grow all across the world. But what is it about grasses that helps them to grow in so many different habitats?
Like all living creatures, plants need five things to be able to survive, and one of those things is air. But plants don’t have lungs like we do, so my 6-year-old wants to know: do they breathe?
Seeds come in different shapes and sizes but how do they know what kind of plant to grow into? The answer to this fantastic question about plants actually tells us about how all life on Earth works.
Inside all living creatures there is information that tells their bodies how to grow, develop and work. But what is this information and how does it create life?
At this time of the year, there are lots of flowers around. Many are brightly coloured and some give off a beautiful scent; others are less colourful or even a bit stinky!
My 6-year-old wants to know: Do flowers come in all the colours of the rainbow? And why are some of them smelly?
Today, we went for a stroll at Westonbirt Arboretum – a good opportunity to answer this question about why trees are green.
Trees and many other plants look green because their leaves and sometimes their stems contain a substance called chlorophyll. The word ‘chlorophyll’ comes from two Greek words that mean ‘green’ and ‘leaf’.
This question came up whilst we were playing with Lego, creating a lunar landscape and building spaceships. My daughter started to make a moon garden, then stopped and thought for a moment… “Mummy, are there trees on the Moon?”
We thought about what the Moon is like.