Plant Dissections

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  1. Thanks Ethan, well done on dissecting the flowers. Have another look at the dandelion, this is actually an inflorescence, a head of flowers in the sunflower family is very unique. The green structures that are enclosing the head, that you labelled “sepals” are actually phyllaries or receptacular bracts, they surround the receptable (an enlarged stem portion) that each of the individual flowers in the sunflower head sit on. There are those with long petals – the ray flowers, and these are actually five-lobed connate structure (resulting from the fusion of five petals) – have a closer look perhaps you can see the three lobes at the end of the yellow connate petals. The dandelion is unique that it only has one type of flower/ floret in the head (the ray flowers), other sunflowers have disk flowers that have very reduced petals to the inside of the head.

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