Leafy Lovelies

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Have you ever heard the word ‘botany’ before? Botany is the study of plants, and a person who studies plants is called a botanist.

Cuckoo Flowers were said to be very sacred to the fairies, and it was considered very bad luck to bring them indoors
Copyright John Lucey

In this section, we will introduce you to lots of different trees, wildflowers, hedges and fruit bushes that grow in Ireland.

All plants have a common name that most people know e.g. common oak tree, daisy. However, a lot of people use the Latin name and most books on plants also use the Latin name e.g. quercus robur, bellis perennis.

You will find the Latin names of the plants at the top of the page, so this will help you if you want to look up nature books for more information!

We will also give you tips at the end on keeping your own nature record book, creating your own garden, and lots more fun activities.

Maybe someday, you will become a botanist!

Every part of a plant has a specific role in keeping it healthy. To help you get a better idea of how a plant grows, this table gives an outline of the major parts of a plant and their various functions.

Parts            Function
Roots The roots absorb the water and nutrients from the soil. These are used in helping to make food, which is also stored in the roots. An important role of the roots is to keep the plant steady in the ground so it doesn't blow away in the wind.
Stems The stems transport the water and nutrients from the roots up through the plant to the leaves. They also brings the food that is made in the leaves to other parts of the plant.
Leaves Leaves have a very important role in the plant. It is here that food is made. Carbon dioxide from the air and energy from the sun are absorbed into the leaves, and used to make food. Oxygen is then released by into the air. This process is called photosynthesis.
 Flowers The colourful flowers with their perfumed scent attract bees and other insects to help the plant with pollination. The flowers then produce the seeds, which grow into new plants.

Now that you’ve had your first botany lesson, let’s learn about some of the plants you can find growing Ireland.