|MadSci Network: Botany|
Complete question: I've checked out many sites with this project and they all say to use carnations or celery. I'm thinking of doing an expiriment to see if different species of flowers absorb water at different speeds. I bought daisies, roses, carnations, and mumms but the florist told me that roses wont work and I was wondering why not. Reply: I know that roses are not dyed commercially so maybe that is the florist told you that. I would encourage you to do the experiment and see if all the white flowers you have can be dyed with food coloring. Carnations, mums and daisies certainly can. Queen Anne's lace or wild carrot is another flower easily dyed. I don't see why most white flowers could not be dyed. It is a simple process of the water soluble dye moving in the xylem due to transpiration. Wilting the flowers slightly ahead of time is recommended to speed the dye movement to the flower. Flowers that may not work could be ones that exude a gummy latex when the stems are cut, such as a poinsettia or dandelion. That may clog up the xylem and prevent dye movement.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Botany.