Wisconsin fast plants are genetically altered plants that grow really fast and are great for science experiments.  You can order them from Carolina.com either as just seeds or in kits.  We used the Wisconsin Fast Plants® 72-Hour Genetics Kit which comes with 4 seed packets from 3 different generations so you don’t have to spend months growing each generation, harvesting the seeds and then planting the next generation. The kit also comes with petri dishes and everything you need to do the experiment.    The kit I bought was for my class, but they do sell kits for individual students and a variety of kits are available for different experiments.

fast plant seedsThese are called fast plants for a reason. We put the seeds on moist paper towels in the morning and they were sprouting that night before we went to bed!  The first photo was taken about 14 hours after setting up the experiment and the second one is only  3 days later!  You can see from the second photo that the seedlings have some variety  – some have purple stems and some are green.   If I remember there are also some that are hairy and some that are smooth.  The kids counted how many purple vs green stems there were in each generation and figured out which trait was recessive.  This whole experiment can be done in 3 days! fast plants day 3 No need to keep it going for weeks and weeks, though if you have a kid who wants to do that, you can start with two pure seed packs with different traits, grow the plants, fertilize them (did you know they sell dried bees to put on sticks to do this??), harvest seeds and then start all over again.    Either way these fast plants are excellent for biology, genetics or even a little botany fun.