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For Christmas I bought my children a "Magic Growing Christmas Tree Crystal Paper Tree Christmas Decoration Science Toy". It looks like this:

enter image description here

It came with a bag of liquid which you add to the tray at the bottom and then 'evaporates' up the tree.

Presumably the liquid has an ionic solution which then crystalises as the solution rises up the tree and the liquid evaporates.

From my limited knowledge of playing with growing crystals as a boy - the two ionic solutions that came to mind were:

  • table salt - sodium chloride - white crystals
  • sodium sulphate - blue crystals

The shape of the crystals was fine fingers - not like either of those solutions - which tend towards large crystals. In addition the colour came from the tint on the paper - so it must have been white originally.

My question is: What is the reaction involved in a childrens paper Christmas tree crystal growth?

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  • $\begingroup$ The crystals might look different as they are growing from the porous paper. In diy recipes table salt is used. Dyes are likely those for food. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jan 7 '18 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Alchimista - can you expand that into an answer? $\endgroup$ – hawkeye Jan 8 '18 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ What does that tree look like before the experiment? Picture? $\endgroup$ – Karl Jan 8 '18 at 9:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Karl image with before and after, timelapsed video, DYI video $\endgroup$ – mhchem Jan 8 '18 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ Tnx. No chemistry, just dye from the paper tree and a salt solution from which the water evaporates. $\endgroup$ – Karl Jan 8 '18 at 19:09

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