Plant Nature Study I by Various Plant Nature Study I by Various    

Lesson 11: A Day to be Remembered (Aggregate Fruits)

lesson image

"Cheer up! Cheer up! Cheer up! Cheer!

Strawberry time will soon be here."

Welcome Robin was perched in the top of a little tree just above Peter Rabbit's favorite resting place in the dear Old Briar-patch. Over and over he kept repeating that message, and there was joy in every note. Peter looked up at him.

"What of it?" he demanded, when he had grown tired of hearing Welcome Robin say the same thing over and over again.

"What of it?" repeated Welcome Robin, after him. "Why, it means that some of us are going to have a feast by and by."

"Perhaps so, and perhaps not," retorted Peter. Strawberry time doesn't always mean a lot of Strawberries. Perhaps there will be only a few this year. I've known such things to happen."

"So have I," replied Welcome Robin, promptly. "But it won't happen this year. No, sir, it won't happen this year. There will be more Strawberries than I've ever seen before."

"Huh!" grunted Peter. "Much you know about it! Much you know about it, Welcome Robin! There will be no Strawberries for some time yet, so how can you know whether there will be many or few?"

"Because the plants are in blossom right now, Mr. Smarty," retorted Welcome Robin. "Never have I seen so many Strawberry blossoms at one time as there are up in the Old Pasture right now. Anyone who knows anything at all knows that plenty of blossoms means plenty of berries."

By this time Peter was already hopping along one of his private little paths on his way out of the dear Old Briar-patch. "Hi, Peter! Where are you going?" called Welcome Robin.

"I'm going up to the Old Pasture," replied Peter over his shoulder, and disappeared among the brambles of the dear Old Briar-patch.

When Peter reached the Old Pasture he was not long in discovering that Welcome Robin had told the truth. In every little open grassy place clusters of white flowers with yellow centers smiled up at him. They were every place where there was the least chance for them to grow.

They grew in little clusters, each flower on a little stem which branched out from the main stem. This in turn sprang up from a little tuft of dark green, three-parted leaves. Each part or leaflet was cut into teeth around the edges. Both the stems of the leaves and the stems of the flowers were hairy.

The blossoms were very wide open so that they were almost round. There were five white petals. In the center was a little green cone just the shape the berry would be by and by. Out of this little cone grew many little pistils, and around it clustered the yellow stamens. Busy Bee was hard at work among the blossoms, carrying pollen from one to another, and taking her pay in the nectar which would go to make honey.

The meeting with Welcome Robin reminded Peter of a certain little blossom which takes a part of its common name from Welcome himself. It was the Wake-robin or Purple Trillium, sometimes called the Birthroot. Just why it should be called Wake-robin Peter couldn't understand at all, because Welcome Robin always is on hand and very much awake long before this strange little blossom appears.

No sooner did Peter think of the Wake-robin than he started off to look for it. He knew it was in bloom. He headed straight for a certain rather swampy part of the Old Pasture. He felt quite sure he would find it there. Sure enough, he discovered it at once. Had he not seen it, his nose would have told him it was there, for it has an odor which is not at all pleasant excepting to certain insects which have a fondness for bad odors and search for it to get its pollen.

There is no mistaking a Trillium for any other plant because it is arranged in threes. From the top of a smooth, stout stalk three broad, oval leaves ending in sharp points droop. Just above, springing from the point where the three leaves meet is a three-petaled flower, which to some folks is not at all attractive to look at because of its dark, purplish-red color. The petals are oval, and there are six stamens and one pistil. The tip of the pistil is divided into three short, curving parts.

Peter didn't stay there long. After the sweet scent of the Strawberries he couldn't stand the odor of the ill-scented Wake-robin. He was glad to turn away to look for some sweeter flower. Happening to glance above him on the hillside, he caught a glimpse of something pink. Instantly he was off to see what it could be. The moment he reached it he knew. There before him was a little bush covered with the loveliest of pink blossoms. At first it looked as if there were no leaves, for the latter had only just started, while many of the blossoms were fully open.

They grew in clusters. Each blossom was in the shape of a long tube, spreading into five petals which opened out quite flat. Out of that tube five long, curved, red stamens and a single long pistil were thrust. Some of the flowers were quite a deep pink, and others a very light pink.

"The Pinkster!" cried Peter, happily. "It is the Pinkster!"

Peter was right. That is one of its common names. It is also called the Pink, Purple or Wild Azalea, and the latter name is perhaps the best, for it is an Azalea. In some places it is called the Wild Honeysuckle. This is a mistake, for it is not a true Honeysuckle.

Looking about, Peter found other bushes, some of them quite six feet high and others not more than two feet high, on which the pink buds were swelling or had already burst into bloom. Once again Peter thought of the boy and girl whom he had twice seen picking flowers, and with all his heart he hoped they would not find the Pinksters. He knew that they could not be picked without serious harm to the bushes on which they grew. In this he was wholly right. The Wild Azalea makes rarely beautiful the spot wherein it grows, but it has no place elsewhere.

Leaving the Old Pasture, Peter went down to the Smiling Pool in search of Grandfather Frog. Peter likes to have a little gossip with Grandfather Frog once in so often. You know Grandfather Frog is accounted very old and very wise. But when Peter reached the Smiling Pool he quite forgot Grandfather Frog for the time being. You see almost at once his attention was caught by half a dozen bright yellow spots near the shore at the lower end of the Smiling Pool. Peter hurried around there at once. Sure enough, those yellow spots were just what he suspected they were, — flowers. They were like yellow balls, somewhat flattened at the top. They were quite large, some of them being almost three inches across, and at first glance most of them seemed to be floating on the water in the midst of big, oval, thick, green leaves, heart-shaped at the base, which also seemed to be floating on the water. But presently Peter noticed that one of the flowers was quite a bit above the water on a stout stem.

They were Lilies, the Large Yellow Pond Lily, Cow Lily or Spatter-dock. One of the blossoms was near enough for Peter to reach out and smell of. He didn't like it. It wasn't pleasant, in which respect it was quite the opposite of its beautiful cousin, the White or Sweet-scented Pond Lily.

Peter didn't stop to look into the blossoms closely. It was enough for him to know that they were there. No one can fail to recognize them because there are no other flowers growing in the water at all like them. Had Peter looked more closely, he might have found that what looked like yellow petals were really not true petals at all, but that the true petals were inside and were narrow, fleshy, and looked a great deal like stamens. But it was enough for him to know the flower, so he promptly turned his back and hurried to look for Grandfather Frog.

    Plant Nature Study I by Various Plant Nature Study I by Various    

Lesson 11: A Day to be Remembered (Aggregate Fruits)


Study the lesson for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read the story.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Recite aloud the vocabulary words and their definitions.
  • Learn the concepts.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.


Peter enjoys studying strawberry blossoms, which have five white petals and yellow centers. Each blossom also has a tiny green cone covered in pistils and surrounded by stamens. Upon fertilization of its pistils with pollen, sweet red strawberries will grow from the cones. Peter next visits the Purple Trillium. Its stalk has three pointed leaves and three pointed purple-red petals. Although the Purple Trillium smells foul to Peter, some insect pollinators find the scent delightful. From each blossom's dark center, six stamens and one pistil protrude. Avoiding the foul odor, Peter moves on to the sweet smelling Wild Azalea. Each pink Wild Azalea blossom has five red stamens and a single long pistil. Finally, Peter finds the foul-smelling Large Yellow Pond Lily growing in the Smiling Pool. Its heart-shaped leaves float on top of the water. The Large Yellow Pond Lily's false blossoms look like yellow balls and protect the true blossoms hiding within.


Fruit: The seed-bearing part of a plant, often edible, colorful, fragrant, and produced from a floral ovary after fertilization.
Seed: A fertilized ovule, containing an embryonic plant.
Ovary: The lower part of a pistil or carpel that bears ovules and ripens into fruit.
Ovule: The structure in a plant that develops into a seed after fertilization.
Achene: A small, dry, indehiscent fruit, containing a single seed.


Aggregate Fruits:

  1. In the story, Wake Robin sings with joy since the strawberry plants are loaded with blossoms.
  2. Did you know that some berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, are not a single fruit? Instead, each berry consists of many fruits.
  3. For example, each strawberry flower has a tiny green cone covered in pistils.
  4. Each pistil may be fertilized and grow into a fruit. These tiny, hard fruits, called achenes, are the 'seeds' on the outside of the strawberry.
  5. The cone (red fleshy part) and the fertilized pistils (the 'seeds' or real fruits (achenes)) form each strawberry.


Activity 1: Narrate the Story

  • After reading or listening to the story, narrate the story events aloud using your own words.

Activity 2: Can You Find It?

Review the following flower parts on the diagram of the flower:

  • The part containing ovules
  • The part capturing pollen from pollinators
  • The parts developing into seeds
  • The part connecting the stigma to the ovary
  • The part ripening into fruit

Activity 3: Sketch and Label an Aggregate Fruit   

Complete page 14 in 'Science Field Book for Third Grade' by sketching a strawberry and labeling a few of its achenes.

  • Procure and examine a strawberry.
  • Identify the many fruits (achenes) making up the strawberry.
  • Identify the part that started as a green cone of the strawberry flower.

Activity 4: Take a Nature Walk, Visit a Flower Shop, or Research Online - Flowers Near Water

  • Embark upon a nature walk.
  • Locate a specimen of a plant like the Large Yellow Pond Lily that grows in or near water.
  • Does the plant grow in the water or near the water?
  • Does the plant grow in or near a pond, marshy area, stream, river, or other body of water?
  • Make observations of the flower and its habitat and gather data.
  • Use the gathered information to create the field book entry.

Activity 5: Complete a Field Book Entry   

After your nature walk, complete page 15 in 'Science Field Book for Third Grade.'


Question 1

What do the real fruits of the strawberry plant resemble?
1 / 4

Answer 1

The real fruits of the strawberry plant resemble seeds.
1 / 4

Question 2

How many pistils does a typical strawberry blossom have - 0, 2, or many?
2 / 4

Answer 2

A typical strawberry blossom has many pistils, each which may be fertilized and grow into a fruit (achene).
2 / 4

Question 3

Describe the petals and leaves at the top of the Purple Trillium stem.
3 / 4

Answer 3

The Purple Trillium has three purple petals and three green leaves at the top of its stem. Remember, that tri means 'three.'
3 / 4

Question 4

Describe the habitat of the Large Yellow Pond Lily.
4 / 4

Answer 4

The Large Yellow Pond Lily grows in water, such as in a pond.
4 / 4

  1. What do the real fruits of the strawberry plant resemble? The real fruits of the strawberry plant resemble seeds.
  2. How many pistils does a typical strawberry blossom have - 0, 2, or many? A typical strawberry blossom has many pistils, each which may be fertilized and grow into a fruit (achene).
  3. Describe the petals and leaves at the top of the Purple Trillium stem. The Purple Trillium has three purple petals and three green leaves at the top of its stem. Remember, that tri means 'three.'
  4. Describe the habitat of the Large Yellow Pond Lily. The Large Yellow Pond Lily grows in water, such as in a pond.


  1. Burgess, Thornton. Burgess Flower Book for Children. Ithaca, Boston, Massachusetts. Little, Brown, and Company, 1923.
  2. Comstock, Anna Botsford and Gordon, Eva L., Handbook of nature-study (Twenty-fourth edition). Ithaca, New York Comstock Publishing Company, Inc, 1911.