I have managed to find lots of revision displacement activities over the last three weeks or so. Blogging and photography are probably the ones I indulge in most frequently. Today I have artfully combined my favourite distractions with my revision.
So what might at first appear to be simply a photograph of some lovely supermarket tulips, is in fact a study of a monocotyledon. All flowering plants (angiosperms) are either monocotyledons or dicotyledons – a term that refers to whether they have either one or two seed leaves. Bear with me, this is going somewhere. Tulips, along with irises, daffodils and many grasses, are monocotyledons, and this group is further characterised by having flower parts that appear in multiples of three. The interesting thing about many flowers in this group, including tulips and lilies, is that although their flowers may appear to have six* petals, say, they really only have three, the others being sepals (outer leaf-like organs that protect the bud). As these flower parts are indistinguishable, and it is confusing to talk of petals or sepals, they are called tepals, which I think is rather lovely.
And sticking with the flowery theme, I have been struck by the words used to describe the various ways in which flowers appear on their stems: racemes, panicles, umbels and corymbs, all of which are poetic-sounding flowery clusters or inflorescences.
Time to get back to my books.
*Six for this example, though clearly not in the case of my tulips!