Parent and Offspring - Like Mother ... Like Plant

If these two flowers produced seeds, what color would the offspring be?

Logic tells you they would have to be white or pink. White is a trait of one parent and pink is a trait of the other.

But suppose the white color is dominant. You can think of the dominant color as being stronger. That means if one parent passes on a white gene and the other passes on a pink one, the offspring will be white. They still show the inherited trait of a parent organism

In our example the white flower and pink flower are purebred. A purebred Golden Retriever has Golden Retriever parents. The white flower had white parents and the pink one had pink parents. Their offspring would be a hybrid or a combination.

Now here it gets more complicated. If we cross the offspring that show the color trait for the white parent what will you get?

This grid helps determine what offspring two parents may have. Does the pink one surprise you?

Remember, the parents are hybrid white. This means they carry the gene for pink, although they are white. When one hybrid white gives a pink gene and the other hybrid white gives a pink gene the offspring will be pink!


It's true!

A tall pea plant is crossed with a short pea plant. The resulting seeds were planted in the same garden.

When they matured, the plants looked like this:

(all of these plants are tall)

Use a grid, web, or method of your choice to fully explain the results of this experiment.

Suppose two offspring were crossed. The resulting seeds were planted in the same garden. When they matured, the plants looked like this:

Use a method of your choice to report your understanding of these findings.

Try this at home!
Some traits are inherited. Some traits are learned. Some traits are caused by the environment.

In this activity, you will observe plants grown from seeds. You will compare them to the parent plant and find ways they are alike and ways they are different. Do not use packaged seeds! You must use seeds that all come from the same plant.

Perhaps you know someone with a garden who would let you harvest some seeds from one of the plants they grew. You might use the seeds from a flower. Vegetables such as corn, peas or beans are good plants for this activity.


  1. Take a photograph or draw a picture of the plant from which you harvested the seeds. If possible, take the plant and dry it.
  2. Dry the seeds and plant them in a pot of soil.
  3. Water seeds as needed. When the plants begin to grow, they will need light and water. If many seeds grow in the same pot, pull some of them out or transplant them. This will give the rest of the seeds room to grow.
  4. If possible, plant the seeds outdoors. Mark the plants with a stake.
  5. After the plants have matured compare and contrast them to the parent plant. Are the plants the same size? Are the leaves, flowers, and seeds the same as the parent plant?
  6. Make a chart listing ways in which they are alike and ways they are different.
utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.