The radicle is a part of the plant studied in my horticulture and general agriculture classes. Students identify the part in seed dissection labs. The radicle is the seed root or embryonic root. In my germination lab students use the learning from the dissection lab to identify different plant parts as the seeds begin to grow. In my class the germination lab takes two forms. First, students do a rag doll test. A rag doll test is where seeds are placed in a moist paper towel and then put in a partially open bag. Students unravel the paper towel every day and record how many seeds are growing. It’s a great lab to review fractions and define yield. With younger students I don’t use more than 10 seeds. The younger students are given larger seeds like beans to help them with seeing the small parts and handle the materials better. High school students work with the Wisconsin Fast Plants. The Wisconsin Fast Plant was developed to mature quickly for students and teachers to use in the classroom. The second germination lab uses floral foam or Oasis. Soak the floral foam the night before conducting the setup for the lab with students. I find that sandwich bags with the foldable seal are good enough to use with this experiment. Each student gets eight seeds, four dicotyledons and four monocotyledons, two 1/4 inch slices of floral foam, and two sandwich bags. I instruct students to orientate the seeds in 4 different directions. The pointy end of the corn should point up, down, left, and right. The bean’s dimple in the middle of the bean should point up, down, left, and right. Placing each of the floral foam slices upright and not flat will allow students to see the effect of gravitropism. It’s also a great lab to discuss plants whose seeds that need light to germinate. Setting the floral foam slices in complete darkness and in a window and record the differences is a simple modification to the lab to do that.
Roots are Radicle