Lesson 1: Peter Rabbit Finds Signs of Spring (Plants and Scent)

Week: 1

The Merry Little Breezes introduce Peter Rabbit to the Skunk Cabbage, a wildflower that emits a skunky odor when its flowers bloom or its leaves are torn.

Lesson 2: Two Surprises in the Green Forest (Petals vs. Sepals)

Week: 2

Peter Rabbit tells Tommy Tit the Chickadee that he's seen the first flowers of spring. Tommy Tit informs Peter the starlike Hepatica is blooming on hillside. Hepaticas have purple, pink, and white blossoms with yellow and white centers and hairy stems. The hairs keep crawling insects from climbing up to the blossoms and stealing their nectar. A week later, Peter sees the Early Saxifrage growing from cracks in rocks, a small white star flower with a yellow center, a hairy stalk, and leaves with scalloped edges.

Lesson 3: Peter Makes More Discoveries (Edible Flowers)

Week: 3

After a narrow escape from Reddy Fox, Peter mistakes a Spring Beauty for a Hepatica. Upon closer inspection, Peter learns that the Spring Beauty stem is not hairy and its leaves look like grass blades. Unlike the Hepatica, each flower has green sepals and five petals. The Spring Beauty closes when it is cloudy and moves to face the sunshine. Peter visits the meadow and sees the sunny gold of the Dandelion. A Merry Little Breeze tells Peter the Dandelion is made of dozens and dozens of tiny flowers. Each of the tiny flowers making up a single dandelion head turns into a seed that blows away with the wind to spread new dandelions. The Merry Little Breeze also tells Peter that the Dandelion stem is hollow, and that the Dandelion gets its name due to the sharp-toothed edges of its leaves. Peter also learns the dandelion opens in the day and closes at night. Finally, the Merry Little Breeze shows Peter where to find the Common Chickweed. The Common Chickweed grows a few inches high, has mouse ear-shaped leaves that grow in pairs, and sports tiny white blossoms with five petals. Peter also spots the Larger Mouse-ear Chickweed, which has larger blossoms than the Common Chickweed.

Lesson 4: Shy Blossoms and Fairy Bells (Conserving Wild Plants)

Week: 4

Peter smells something sweet and finds the dainty pink and white blossoms of the Trailing Arbutus growing along the ground. The Arbutus has a woody stem, thick dark green leaves with rusty spots, and hairy undersides. Peter sees a boy and girl pulling up Arbutus flowers by the roots. Peter escapes to the Laughing Brook. He finds the Trout Lily, named for the mottled brown or gray leaf markings that resemble the trout fish. Like the Spring Beauty, the Trout Lily turns to follow the sun, and like the Dandelion, the Trout Lily closes up at night time. Peter sees butterflies sipping the nectar of the Trout Lily. When Peter returns to see the Trout Lily a few weeks later, the flowers are gone, for they only bloom a short time during the spring.

Lesson 5: Tommy Tit Drops a Hint (Symbiosis)

Week: 5

Tommy Tit the Chickadee tells Peter where to find the Bloodroot. The Bloodroot has around eight to twelve white petals, a smooth stem, and notched leaves that are rough on the bottom. The Bloodroot closes at night and on cloudy days and opens on bright days. Peter steps on a Bloodroot leaf and sees the red juice that gives the Bloodroot its name. Peter discovers another small white flower, the Wood Anemone, which looks similar to the Bloodroot but has leaves growing in clusters of three to five from the same point on the stem. The Wood Anemone is also called Windflower since it nods and sways in the wind without being ripped up. Its roots are thick and grow horizontally in all directions, anchoring it to the ground. Peter later finds a cousin to the Wood Anemone, the Rue Anemone, with roots that look like a cluster of tiny sweet potatoes. Wood Anemones and Rue Anemones are easily distinguished, as Wood Anemones have one blossom and Rue Anemones each have two or three.

Lesson 6: Gold and Other Treasures (The Stigma)

Week: 6

Peter finds Bluets, tiny white and blue flowers with gold centers. The tiny leaves of Bluets grow in pairs on opposite sides of their stems. A week later, Peter visits a swampy place and finds the Wild Geranium. Wild Geraniums have five lavender and white petals, veined leaves cut deeply into three to five parts, and hairy stalks. They also grow seed pods which spring open and toss the seeds to disperse them. With the help of Winsome Bluebird, Peter finds gold growing in the water. The golden-colored Marsh Marigolds grow in a cluster over a glossy, roughly heart-shaped leaves.

Lesson 7: Two Dainty Little Neighbors (The Stamen)

Week: 7

Peter discovers the Foamflower, or False Miterwort, and its frothy mass of blossoms. Tiny white blossoms grow on single stems projecting from a tall, hairy, central stalk. Each blossom has five pointed petals. From each center stand stamen, tiny threads tipped with yellow pollen. The leaves are hairy on the tops and have fine hairs on the bottoms. Peter next finds the Dutchman's-breeches, a flower with petals that look like a tiny pair of pants hanging upside down. At the bottom of the flowers, two tiny yellow petals surround six pollen-dusted stamens. Like the Foamflower, each of the Dutchman's-breeches' flowers grows on a single stem branching from the central stalk. Each stalk has multiple blossoms. The leaves are compound, each appearing to consist of many smaller leaves. The thoughtless boy and girl appear again to pick all of the Dutchman's-breeches, leaving no more for Peter to enjoy.

Lesson 8: Redwing and Mrs. Grouse Help (Poisonous Plants)

Week: 8

Peter meets Redwing the Blackbird, who has migrated north from the Sunny South for springtime. Redwing shows Peter the White Violet. The White Violet has a smooth stem, heart-shaped and toothed leaves, and five white petals. Notably, lines of purple mark the lower three petals. Peter next meets Mrs. Grouse, who tells him where to find Eyeberries, also called the Doll's Eye or the White Baneberry. The white berries grow upon a red stem. Each berry bears a purple spot that makes it resemble an eyeball. Eyeberry flowers resemble Foamflowers, as they are small white blossoms with many stamens. Eyeberry flowers smell bad and the plant's berries are poisonous.

Lesson 9: A Preacher and Nodding Beauties (The Pistil)

Week: 9

Buster Bear digs up the earth and eats something. After Buster Bear leaves, Peter finds Buster has been eating hairy-looking bulbs sprouting small roots. Peter nibbles a bulb, and it stings his mouth. The bulb of the Jack-in-the-pulpit, which burned Peter's mouth, can be cooked to remove the stinging and eaten. Resembling a preacher giving a sermon from a pulpit, Jack-in-the-pulpits have a long stem and leaves that look like a vase with a hood. Inside the vase, Peter finds tiny, green-yellow blossoms. Peter next spots Hummer the Hummingbird gathering nectar from the beautiful Columbine. The Columbine flower hangs its head down. The flower is scarlet on the outside and yellow on the inside. Each petal is shaped like a tiny cone. Many pollen-tipped stamens sprout from the flower's center. Thread-like pistils, ready to receive pollen for fertilization, grow near the stamen. As Hummer gathers nectar from the Columbine blossoms, he helps the flowers by carrying pollen from flower to flower.

Lesson 10: Snow and Gold and Heaven's Blue (Plants and Colors)

Week: 10

Peter is shocked when he sees snow. Upon closer examination, Peter realizes the "snow" is actually white coverings protecting Flowering Dogwood flowers. The real flowers are tiny, greenish, and tucked within the outer covering. Peter next finds the cheery yellow Common Cinquefoil. Each blossom has five notched petals and many stamens and pistils. Finally, Peter comes across different kinds of blue and purple Violets, including the Common Blue Violet.

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

Week: 11

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.

Lesson 12: The Joy of Bees (Pollinators)

Week: 12

Peter follows Lady Bumblebee to a field dotted with Red Clover blossoms. Sniffing the sweet scent, Peter realizes that, like the Dandelion, each Red Clover composite blossom is made of many tiny flowers or florets. Lady Bumblebee sticks her long tongue into each tube-shaped floret to get the sweet nectar, and Peter eats the delicious leaves. Next, Peter sees the daisy-like blue flowers of the Blue Spring Daisy, another composite flower. Finally, Peter spots Hummer the Hummingbird using his long bill to sip nectar from red, tube-shaped Honeysuckle blossoms. Bees do not drink nectar from the Honeysuckle because their tongues are not long enough.

Lesson 13: Beauties of the Swamp (Plants and Habitat)

Week: 13

Peter spots a big, beautiful swamp flower called the Larger Blue Flag or Blue Iris. The flower has leaves like large blades of grass and a tall, straight stalk. Although the flower appears to have nine petals, the bottom three marked in white and yellow are actually sepals. The three smaller ones, notched at the tips, are part of the pistil. Only the top three standing erect are true petals. Peter finds another swamp beauty, a member of the Orchid family, called the Arethusa or Dragon's-mouth. Like the Blue Iris, the purplish-pink Dragon's-mouth has sepals that look like petals.

Lesson 14: Umbrella Plants and Flower Butterflies (Plants and Seeds)

Week: 14

Peter heads to the forest, where he spots plants that look like green umbrellas. Below the umbrellas, Peter sniffs the six-petaled white flowers and realizes he's found the poisonous-leaved Mandrake or May Apple. The second flower Peter sees is the Fringed Milkwort, another plant with sepals that look like petals. To aid in successful reproduction, the Fringed Milkwort grows two sets of fruit and seeds, one set above and one set below the ground. The Fringed Milkwort is also called the Flowering Wintergreen, for its roots smell like wintergreen. After smelling the wintergreen, Peter grows hungry and heads back to Green Meadows to snack upon some White Clover.

Lesson 15: Buttercups and Lily Cousins (Plant Bulbs)

Week: 15

Peter visits the Green Meadows and finds a buttercup, a little golden cup with five glossy yellow petals and yellow stamens. Peter digs up the buttercup's root and finds a swollen bulb, which enables the buttercup to store enough energy to bloom early in the spring. Peter continues on to spot the three large white petals of the Wake-robin or White Trillium. Peter also finds the Painted Trillium, which has three white petals striped in pink at the base. Finally, Peter finds the petite blue star blossoms of Blue-eyed Grass.

Lesson 16: A Trap for Living Insects (Carnivorous Plants)

Week: 16

Tommy Tit the Chickadee tells Peter Rabbit that insect catchers are in bloom next to the swamp. Peter finds it hard to believe that flowers eat insects, but he hurries to the boggy, mossy swamp to see for himself. Peter finds the Pitcher Plant, which grows its own water-filled cups to trap and drown insects. These plants produce a sweet juice to lure their insect prey into their cups and line the cups with downward pointing hairs to prevent the insects from escaping.

Lesson 17: How the Lady Slippers Were Saved (Optimized Design)

Week: 17

Peter Rabbit admires the beautiful Pink Lady's-slipper and the Large and Small Yellow Lady's-slippers, three members of the Orchid family which contain a pouch of nectar and pollen. Peter watches Lady Bumblebee disappear into one Lady's-slipper pouch, drink the sweet nectar within, and squeeze back out. When she emerges, yellow pollen dusts her back. Lady Bumblebee then enters another Lady's-slipper pouch, delivering some pollen from the previous flower as well as picking up some new pollen.

Lesson 18: The Delightful Reward of Curiosity (The Leaf Factory)

Week: 18

Peter spots the tiny, feathery white blossoms of the New Jersey Tea, a flower whose leaves may be dried and used for brewing tea. The reddish root of the New Jersey Tea produces a dye which can be extracted. Peter next spots the Pasture Rose, a flower with a prickly stem, five pink petals, and a golden center of stamens and pollen. Busy Bee has no interest in the Pasture Rose, as it has no nectar, but some of her relatives collect the pollen. Peter later finds the cousins of the Pasture Rose, the Swamp Rose and the Meadow Rose.

Lesson 19: White and Yellow Cousins (Composite Flowers)

Week: 19

As Peter follows Bubbling Bob the Bobolink in a futile attempt to find Bob's nest, he sees the first White Daisy of the year. Pure white petals surround a golden sun. Like the Dandelion, the Daisy is a composite flower. Although Johnny Chuck isn't much interested in eating the Daisy, the bees and butterflies feed on its nectar, carrying pollen in return. Next, Peter finds a cousin of the Daisy, the Black-eyed Susan. Also a composite flower, the Black-eyed Susan has golden, notched petals and a brown center.

Lesson 20: Peter Finds Three Old Friends (Plants and Nutrients)

Week: 20

While in the Green Forest, Peter finds Solomon's Seal, distinctive for its pale-yellow fairy bells dangling in pairs. Later in the season, dark berries replace the blossoms. Peter next discovers the False Solomon's Seal, which has similar leaves to the True Solomon's Seal but no fairy bells. Instead, the False Solomon's Seal grows tiny, feathery blossoms and has greenish to red berries. Peter next spots the Wild Lupine, distinctive for its circular spokes of leaves and flowers that resemble closed butterfly wings. Hidden within the flowers petals are the pistils, stamens, and nectar. When Bees land upon the closed blossoms, they open to reveal the nectar and pollen.

Lesson 21: Beautiful Mischievous Cousins (Defensive Mechanisms)

Week: 21

Peter finds Mountain Laurel bushes covered in white and pink delicate blossoms. He does not eat the leaves, which are poisonous and kill many sheep and cattle every year when eaten. Each bowl-shaped flower has ten stamens bent down and tucked into ten pockets running along the perimeter of the bowl. Peter sees a bee enter one of the bowls and touch a bent stamen. The stamen springs up from its pocket and showers the Bee with pollen. Peter realizes the stamens are like little spring guns. The stem of these flowers is sticky, preventing ants from climbing into the flowers and getting the pollen, for the ants do not carry pollen from flower to flower. Peter next finds the Lambkill, a cousin of the Mountain Laurel. The Lambkill has smaller, deep-pink bowl-shaped blossoms with little spring gun stamens like their cousin. The Lambkill is even more poisonous than the Mountain Laurel, hence its name. Peter next finds the American or Great Rhododendron, another cousin of the Mountain Laurel. The blossoms were white and beautiful, but Peter is disappointed to find that they had no spring gun stamens.

Lesson 22: Peter Finds Stars in the Grass (Proactive Pollen Dispersal)

Week: 22

Peter overhears Johnny Chuck reciting a poem about stars in the grass and is confused. How can there be stars in the grass? Then Peter realizes Johnny Chuck means the star-shaped flowers named Yellow Star Grass. Peter moves on to the Smiling Pool to find the Grass Pink or Calopogon, a member of the Orchid family. The Grass Pink has a petal called a lip at the top of the flower. The lip is covered with white, yellow, and pinkish hairs. When Lady Bee lands on the lip, the lip drops down and covers Lady Bee with pollen.

Lesson 23: Lilies of Meadow and Wood (More About Pollen)

Week: 23

Peter finds the Meadow Lily, the biggest flower he's seen yet. Bright yellow with brown spots and six large brown stamen, the Meadow Lily hangs upside-down like a bell. It has six petal-like structures that curve upward at the bottom. The Meadow Lily's pollen is brown instead of yellow. Peter next finds the Red Lily or the Flame Lily. It has similarly shaped petals and large brown stamens like its cousin, the Meadow Lily, but its petals do not droop down.

Lesson 24: Lilies in the Pond (Aquatic Plants)

Week: 24

Peter finds the Blue Bells growing on the rocky banks of the Laughing Brook. The beautiful bells of blue swing from thin stems in the wind. The Blue Bell has no separate petals, instead they are fused before separating into points near the end of the bell. Peter next examines the Showy Lady's slipper, its white and pink colors making it most lovely lily of all. Lastly, Peter visits the Smiling Pool and finds the Pond Lily or Sweet-scented White Water Lily. Although Pond Lilies grow at the surface of the water, their hollow stems lead down to the mud where their roots grow. Pond Lilies only bloom for three days before they fade.

Lesson 25: The Merry Little Breezes Help Peter (Wind Dispersal)

Week: 25

In the Green Meadows, Peter passes a little shrub with clusters of feathery flowers. A Merry Little Breeze tells Peter the shrub's name is the Meadowsweet, although the flowers do not smell sweet. The Meadowsweet grows large numbers of long stamens, giving the flower clusters their feathery appearance. Many insects fly about the Meadowsweet, as it has sweet nectar despite not smelling sweet. Next, the Merry Little Breeze shows Peter the Common Milkweed. The Milkweed produces purplish flowers that are replaced later with big brown pods packed tightly with little seeds. When the seeds ripen, the pods burst open and the seeds dance out into the wind. The wind disperses the seeds great distances, enabling the Milkweed to rapidly spread.

Lesson 26: Treasures of the Old Pasture (Pyrophytes)

Week: 26

Peter finds some beautiful bell-shaped pink and white Morning-glories in the Old Pasture. Morning-glories grow on vines that climb around bushes or other objects. Although beautiful, the vines of the Morning-glory grow so fast and twist around other plants until they choke them. Morning-glories get their name because they open in the morning and close later during the day. Peter next finds the Fireweed, which grows after a fire burns an area. Fireweed are tall plants with many pink blossoms growing from the main vertical stem. Finally, Peter observes white, waxy little flowers growing on the curved stems of the Spotted Wintergreen.

Lesson 27: Honeyballs and Leafless Plants (Photosynthesis)

Week: 27

Peter discovers a bush topped with Honeyballs, sweet-smelling white balls. Bees, butterflies, and other insects swarm around the Honeyballs, collecting sweet nectar. The white balls consist of flowers packed tightly together with long pistils sticking out. Peter next finds Culver's Root and its spikes of white flowers. Long ago, the American Indians and settlers used this flower as medicine for liver disorders and constipation. Lastly, Peter finds the Ghost Flower or Corpse Plant hiding in the shade, the strangest plant yet. The flower and stalk are a ghostly, waxy white, and the plant has no leaves. When picked or if the sun shines directly on the Ghost Flower, it turns black. The Ghost Flower contains no green chlorophyll. It does produce energy with photosynthesis as do other plants.

Lesson 28: A Lesson in Beauty (Plants vs. Animals)

Week: 28

Peter is unimpressed by the Wild Carrot at first. But the longer he studies its tiny and delicate white blossoms, the more entranced he becomes. Each tiny flower has its own miniscule yellow stamens. Peter discovers in the very center of the white blossoms, a dark purple flower. Many insects visit the Wild Carrot, for its nectar is easily obtained. Although beautiful, the Wild Carrot is fast growing and a weed to humans. Next, Peter finds the Great Mullein, or the Velvet or Flannel Plant. It has woolly leaves and beautiful yellow blossoms. The blossoms only open for one day, so only a few blossoms are ever open at once, frustrating any bees in search of pollen.

Lesson 29: Two Water Lovers (Wild Plants as Food)

Week: 29

At the Smiling Pool, Peter finds the blue spiky flowers of the Pickerel Weed. Even the stamens and pistils of flowers are blue. Pickerel Weed flowers bloom only for one day and have an unpleasant scent. Peter next examines the Broad-leaved Arrowhead, named for its arrow-shaped leaves that grow above the water. The Broad-leaved Arrowhead also has grasslike leaves that grow beneath the water. Arrowhead plants have all female blossoms with pistils, all male blossoms with stamens, or both female and male blossoms. The Arrowhead is also known as the duck-potato or the Indian potato, because it grows edible tubers under the water.

Lesson 30: Pests that are Beautiful (Animal Dispersal)

Week: 30

Peter studies a Daisy-like composite flower called the Upland White Aster. The Aster is made of two types of florets - the outer snowy white ray floret and the inner yellow-green disk floret. He next finds the poisonous Corn Cockle, a beautiful purplish-red flower considered a weed or a pest by farmers, as it grows in grain fields. The Corn Cockle has a hairy stem and spiky, hairy green leaves. Peter also examines the Common Burdock, which grow prickly seed burs that hitch rides on the fur of animals and the clothing of people. Children can make balls, baskets, and nests out of the burs, which cling together due to their hooks.

Lesson 31: Lady Bumblebee's Friends (Botany and Botanists)

Week: 31

Peter spots the Meadow Beauty, a bright purple flower with a square stalk and oval, ribbed leaves. Each blossom had four petals, eight stamens tipped with pollen, and one pistil. Next, he sees the clusters of purplish flowers of the Swamp Milkweed. Finally, he sees the beautiful bright red Bee Balm or Oswego Tea. The American Indians and early settlers made tea from the spicy smelling leaves. The Bee Balm's flowers are long tubes and their nectar attracts bees and hummingbirds.

Lesson 32: Wool, Spears, and Goldenrod (Plants and Drought)

Week: 32

Peter ventures outdoors during a dry spell and finds the Pearly Everlasting, a plant topped with dry white and yellow blossoms. Despite the lack of rain, some plants are blooming and doing well. Curiously, the Pearly Everlasting looks as if it wears a white wool coat. The white wool prevents moisture from escaping to help the plant survive when it is dry. The Pearly Everlasting gets its name because after picked, the blossoms look the same for months. Peter next examines a relative of the Pearly Everlasting, the Common Thistle. White wool covers the stalk, spines sharp as needles cover the plant, and bright pink flowers bloom at the top. Lastly, Peter finds one more relative, the Goldenrod. The Goldenrod stretches up as tall as an adult human and grows plumes of tiny sunshiny flowers.

Lesson 33: Two Who Come in August (Ancient Plants)

Week: 33

Sammy Jay claims he's seen yellow flowers growing from ferns. Peter is skeptical but hops over to check it out. When Peter finds the flowers, he realizes the plant, the Fern-leaved False Fox Glove, is not a fern, although it looks like one. Next, he finds the New England Aster, a compound flower of purple ray florets encircling the yellow disk florets. The New England Aster closes at night and opens back up in the morning.

Lesson 34: The Gold of Late Summer (Wild Plants and Farms)

Week: 34

At the edge of the swamp, Peter finds the Tall or Giant Sunflower. Some of the flowers stretch ten feet into the air. The Giant Sunflower is a compound flower, with yellow ray florets projecting from the darker yellow center of tiny, tube-like disk flowers. Peter next studies the Sneezeweed or Swamp Sunflower, a relative of the Tall Sunflower. In the fall, the leaves fall and dry up, and if trod upon crumble into a fine dust that makes animals sneeze. The Sneezeweed is a compound flower like its cousin but smaller. The Sneezeweed's ray florets are bright yellow and surrounded a ball of rounded brown florets. Farmers do not like the Sneezeweed, for its leaves are bitter. When cows eat the leaves, their milk also turns bitter.

Lesson 35: A Day Rich in Beauty (Self-Pollination)

Week: 35

Peter visits the Laughing Brook and studies the Swamp Rose Mallow's soft, pink blossoms. Each blossom has five ribbed petals. The pistil is divided into five tips, and the stamens join together to form a tube around the pistil. Next, Peter finds the Joe-pye Weed, a plant almost as tall as the Giant Sunflower. The Joy-pye Weed sports fuzzy masses of pinkish tubular flowers. Pistils stick out from the flowers, giving the blossoms their hairy appearance. Butterflies flock to Joe-pye Weed flowers for their sweet nectar.

Lesson 36: The End of Peter's Search (Annuals vs. Perennials)

Week: 36

September arrives and summer is over. Most of the flowers have already bloomed, and the plants had scattered their seeds. Many of Peter's friends are busy storing food for the winter, migrating to the Sunny South, or getting ready for a long winter's hibernation. So Peter is surprised when he finds the Closed Gentian newly blooming. Each of the flowers appear closed, but Lady Bumblebee pushes her long tongue through an opening and pushes her head inside to retrieve the nectar. Even later in the month, Peter finds a cousin of the Closed Gentian, the Fringed Gentian. It is almost the last flower of the year and is one of the most beautiful. Each flower is like a beautiful purple vase with a fringed top. The flowers close at night and on dull, cloudy days. Peter sees a boy and wishes to protect the flowers from being picked. Peter runs at the boy to distract him and leads him away. Peter knows it is imperative that the Fringed Gentian ripens its seeds, for the Fringed Gentian is an annual plant that dies and must be planted and grown anew each year.