Spring always displays the astonishing beauty of nature. Sweet scent of flowers, buzzing insects and singing of insects become a part of gardens. Spring generally reminds us about the beautiful flowers. Cherry trees bloom the pink blossoms, different avenues like Cherry blossom line Heerstrasse attract the visitors from over the globe in month of April and May. Same sceneries are present in colorful fields of tulips, Tuscany’s poppy fields and England’s iconic bluebell woods. But something that brings question in mind is the science behind this beauty in spring season.
Actually, cold temperature stops or decrease the biological processes in plants and even ice may kill the plant cells. Thus, plants have developed some tricks to live under this cold temperature. Some deciduous trees suck their leaves for nutrients and water before shedding in the fall. The nutrients and water are stored in their large, insulated trunks for warmer time. After that plants growth is put on hold or enter in dormant state. However, some plants adopt different approach for it, such as needle like leaves are coated in waxy layer that helps the plants to resist against cold. This makes them to stay alive in winter season.
Flowering is complex phenomenon that is different in various species and each plant has its own method of flowering. Blooming of a flower depends upon the pollination strategy of a plant. Some flowers are pollinated by bees, air, birds or by butterflies. Pollination is Bonn’s cherry trees happened with the help of honeybees, which means flowers are produced when bees are active. However, the other factors for flowering includes temperature, maturity or daylight duration. Plants are divided into two groups on the base of their response to daylight. Some plants bloom in longer nights and some bloom when nights are short. Those plants who bloom during long nights may flower in spring, such as cherry trees.
Process of flowering need energy or it is an energy intensive process. Normally, plants used the nutrients and foods reserved for producing new leaves and branches. Parts produced by plants are divided into vegetative and reproductive categories. Vegetative parts include the leaves, roots and stems which are not involved in reproduction. Both vegetative and reproductive parts originates from the bud. So what makes a bud to transform into flower?
An experiment was conducted to understand the transform of bud into flower. Leaf was spiked with enough nighttime and then clipped away from the plant. It was observed that plant did not flower. In another part of experiment, leaf was not removed from plant and blooming in flower was observed. So, it was concluded that leaf excrete some sort of mysterious substance that is called florigen. The florigen moves from leaf to bud and give rise to pretty flowers.
Furthermore, temperature also has a key role in flowering of the plants. Hot temperature helps in catalyzing the plant growth, as the chemical reactions speeds up the metabolisms and more food is stored as reserves. So increase in temperature is simply like turning on the complex factory. Interestingly, evidences are collected over past decades that flowering is starting earlier as the average temperature rises. A study published in UK reported that flowering is almost one month earlier as compared the previous years, and same has been reported in Japanese cherry trees that bloomed earlier. This could be due to the reason that seeds are able to bloom at specific temperature, as the climate is getting warm, thus the specific temperature for flowering comes earlier.
“It seems that plants aim to flower not at a particular time of year, but when optimal temperature for seed set is approaching”.