Hairy Plants Exploration at Sustainability Fair – Huntington, WV

A 3-D printout of the 3-pronged hair of the mouse-ear cress.

On May 16 from 10 AM – 5:00 PM discover why some plants are hairy. Visit the trichome exhibit at the Sustainability Fair in Huntington, WV! You will find FREE basil plants,  a raffle for a Plants are Fascinating basket, and an interactive exhibit about hairy plants.

Did you know that plants have hairs called trichomes?
Trichomes produce the fragrance and aroma of basil. Trichomes deter chewing insects, caterpillars, and fungal infection. They also help prevent damage from frost, drought, and UV light. Trichomes appear clear but they contain chemicals that absorb UV light and some even fluoresce bright colors.

Purple hairs make purple passion plant appear purple. Some parts of the purple passion plant hair cells fluoresce blue under UV light, while the purple pigment in the trichomes fluoresces bright pink.

Visit the trichome exhibit to enjoy engaging and educational images, play a match-the-trichome-with-its-plant game, use a dissecting microscope for close-up views of fuzzy plants, and view a 3-D print-out of a mouse-ear cress (Arabidopsis) trichome.

Marcia Harrison-Pitaniello
Department of Biological Sciences
Marshall University
Huntington, WV 25755

The Sustainability Fair is sponsored, in part, by Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District and the Marshall University Sustainability Department. The poster content and images were inspired by student projects Marshall University.

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