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     What are Fast Plants?

"Wisconsin Fast Plants are the best thing that has happened to the teaching of the plant kingdom since the beginning of organized education." (Earle Edwards, Memorial Middle School, South Portland, Maine)

Fast Plants are a rapid-cycling form of the species Brassica rapa, a member of the mustard or cabbage family Cruciferae. Fast Plants and other members of this family are distinguished by characteristic flowers with four petals in the form of a cross or crucifix. Other forms of Brassica rapa include turnips, Chinese cabbage, pak choi and canola.

Fast Plants were developed at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the plant research program of Professor Paul H. Williams. First used by research scientists in the laboratory, Fast Plants, are now used in classrooms around the world as a model tool for hands-on, investigative science

Fast Plants characteristics:Basic Fast Plant

  • Rapid growth (seed to seed in 35-40 days)
  • Petite size (basic Fast Plants will grow to be about 15 cm tall)
  • Uniform flowering time (approximately 14 days)
  • Flowers can easily be pollinated
  • Wide variety of easily recognized genetic traits
  • Rapid response to environmental conditions
  • No seed dormancy period

Fast Plants as a model tool for investigating:

  • Plant growth, development, and reproduction
  • Variation and inheritance
  • Physiology and ecology

Fast Plants offer connections to:

  • Science inquiry in the classroom
  • Student ownership and responsibility
  • Low-cost equipment from recyclable materials

Development of Fast Plants

Fast Plants Life Cycle

Growing Instructions

Growing Systems

Lighting Systems

Fast Plants Seed Stocks