07PlantFamilies07

07PlantFamilies07 - Plants IV: Flowering Plant Families Bio...

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Brian McCauley 10/14/07 Page 1 of 11 Plants IV: Flowering Plant Families Objectives Botanists often start the process of identifying a plant by figuring out what family it belongs to. Although a plant family may contain a great variety of plants – small or large, living in a wide range of habitats, having various flower colors – all of them will have certain characteristics in common. The purpose of this lab is to familiarize you with a few families of flowering plants and the characteristics that define them. As you’ll see, most of the important identifying characteristics relate to flowers and other reproductive structures. By the time you complete this lab, you should be able to recognize the following families: Grass family (Poaceae) Lily Family (Liliaceae) Mint family (Lamiaceae) Sunflower family (Asteraceae) Rose family (Rosaceae) Snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae) You should also be able to recognize the plant characteristics and terms listed below. See the next page for pictures. Alternate vs. opposite leaves. See illustration on next page. Flower parts: calyx, sepals, corolla, petals. The petals are the showy parts around the flower. The corolla is the whole set of petals; the corolla may consist of a tube or of separate, individual petals. The calyx is the outer, usually green, leafy part around the flower. It consists of sepals, which may be fused together or separate. Female parts: ovary, style, stigma. The ovary is the part of the flower where the female gametophytes develop. After fertilization, ovaries often grow into large fruits as the other flower parts such as petals fall off. Superior vs. inferior ovary. If the petals are attached below the ovary, it’s called a superior ovary; if the petals are attached above the ovary, it’s called an inferior ovary.
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07PlantFamilies07 - Plants IV: Flowering Plant Families Bio...

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