Today was a beautiful day here in Maryland–about 75 degrees–so Jacob and I picked dandelions, plucked off the heads, split the stems in two, and watched them curl in water. Lucas sat in his car seat and just watched.
This reminded me of growing up in rural Indiana and picking dandelions with my sisters when we were young. Fun times!
So, what makes dandelion stems curl? According to Google Answers (I don’t have a biology degree and have no idea if this is true.), curling happens when one side of a bilayer expands or contracts faster than the other side. Whichever side is on the outside of the curl probably absorbs more water (and expands more) than the other side.