Celery Colors | Pensacola MESS Hall

Celery Colors

Unless you have someone in your house that gobbles up celery, chances are you have some left over after all the holiday cooking. Don’t let it rot in the vegetable drawer. Use it to view the parts of a plant stem.

Place water in a glass and add red food coloring.

Cut a few stalks of celery. You can even use some with the leaves still attached.

Place the cut stem of celery into the colored water. Let this sit for at least 24 hours.

fresh celery

Celery at 1 minute in colored water

Remove the celery from the colored water.

dyeceler

Celery after 24 hours in colored water

Cut a cross-section from one stalk. The colored ovals near the edge are the xylem, the system a plant uses to get water from the roots to the leaves.

end of celery

Cross section of celery

If you cut along the length of the stalk, you can view the plant’s water highway as long, colored streaks.

 

Mess Around

Try different shades of food coloring.

Try to check on the celery at time points during the 24 hours.

What would happen if you put the ends of one stalk into two different cups tinted with different colors?

If you have a microscope, slice a thin cross-section and view it under magnification. Or use a magnifying glass.

close celery

Cross section of celery at 4x magnification. The reddish/purplish spot is xylem.