Identifying Poison Ivy
|Poison Ivy Control with chemicals||Poison Ivy
Photo in Fall
|Poison Ivy Photo in spring|
|Vegetative characters descriptions and illustrations of plant structures||Unusual and noteworthy plants||Leaf types diagrams : pinnate palmate, parallel veins; simple, compound|
|Physarum On Oatmeal||African violet
- leaf propagation
propagation by leaf cuttings
Seedling - labels - seedling
|Sunflower||Moss Bryophytes||Fern - life cycle - life cycle|
|Lemna floating plants||Wolffia
Wolffia - World's Smallest Flowering Plant
|Salvinia - Water fern||Water ferns - Salvinia, Azolla||Spanish
|Venus Fly Trap - Dionaea||Venus Fly
|Carniverous Plants -|
|Opuntia - Prickly Pear Cactus||Cacti and Succulents||Mimosa - Sensitive Plant|
culture + propagation
|DICOTS - BEAN|
|Bean - seed and seedlings|| Bean
seed - embryo, plumule
embryo, cotledon, seed coat
|MONOCOTS - CORN|
|Corn - seedling development||Corn
grain - I2KI for starch
and other chemicals
|Corn section of grain - labels|
|WOODY BRANCHES WITH LEAVES|
|Ash leafy branch||Forsythia leafy branch||Maple Branch|
|Sycamore Leafy Branch||Catalpa leafy branch||HorseChestnut Branch|
|common names - links to tree images|
|Trees in the Key||Tree identification||Dichotomous key instructions|
|Trees of Eastern North American Forest by common name and family||Key trees of Iowa||.|
|What tree is it?||Key of Common Iowa Trees|
|Basics of tree identification|
About this siteThe Plant Body
I have selected links with images and information related closely to the observations described in your botany lab manual. Preview these resources as you prepare for the laboratory exercise and review these resources as you write your lab reports and study for tests.
Today you will start growing plants that you will investigate
I. Starting Plants for Future Observation
in more detail in later laboratory exercises. I could easily start
these for you, however, it is more instructive for you to start the
plants growing yourself. This not only gives you the sense of
accomplishment (a green thumb), but lets you know how quickly the
plants develop, and provides first hand knowledge of the procedures
Plants you will start today are:
Physarum (plasmodium) -- You will study in the Cell and Fungi labs
(Exercises 2 + 9)
Sunflower (seeds) -- You will study in the Stem lab (Exercise 4)
Moss (spores) -- You will study in the Bryophyte lab (Exercise 10)
Fern (spores) -- You will study in the Lower Vascular lab
African violet (leaf cutting) -- You will study in the Root and Angiosperm labs
( Exercise 3+13)A variety of plants will be on display in the lab to illustrate plant diversity. In addition, we will visit the greenhouse and observe additional diversity.
II. Plant DiversityLeaf Key to Selected Woody Plants of Kean College
Spanish Moss - Tillandsia usneoides Duckweed - (Lemna and Wolffia) Barrel or Prickly Pear Cactus Kalenchoe - Geranium - culture information Sensitive Plant - Mimosa pudica showing thigmonastic response Ferns - -- visit lower vascular plant lab ex. 13
III. External Plant Structure
Herbaceous Dicot - links to bean Herbaceous Monocot - links to corn
B. Woody PlantsLinks to images of branches of
Forsythia Sycamore Maple Ash
IV. Variations on Plant StructureObserve variation in Plant Diversity (part II above) and in plants of the key (part IV below).
V. Leaf KeyThe goal is for you to learn to use a key, and by doing so test your understanding of external plant structure. The key I prepared for you is very limited (selected woody plants of our college campus) and goes only to genus. Most of the genera mentioned in the key are illustrated with links. Note, however, that the species illustrated in a link may not be the same as the species collected on campus. However, I believe most of the illustrations will allow you to confirm the specimen to genus, and may be used in place of an herbarium specimen or tree identification book in lab for your confirmation in the homework assignment.
Trees in the Key in your lab manual
Most images in this key are from this website
1. Leaves broad (a flat photosynthetic surface), persisting for one season (deciduous).
2. Leaves opposite (2 at a node) or whorled (3 or more at node).
3. Leaves simple.
4. Leaves with pointed lobes. Maple (Acer)
4. Leaves not lobed.
5. Leaves very large, whorls or 3 (at least some), leaf base
broad and heart-shaped, veins palmate. Catalpa (Catalpa) whorl leaf
5. Leaves smaller, opposite, veins pinnate.
6. Leaves toothed at tip. Forsythia (Forsythia)
6. Leaves not toothed
7. Leaf heart-shaped, base somewhat truncate. Lilac (Syringa)
7. Leaf somewhat oval, base round or pointed,
pinnate veins curve toward leaf tip. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus)
3. Leaves compound.8. Pinnately compound (oddly pinnate). Ash (Fraxinus)2. Leaves alternate (1 leaf per node, leaves often seem to spiral around stem).
8. Palmately compound. HorseChestnut (Aesculus)
9. Leaves simple
10. Leaves neither toothed nor lobed.
11. Leaves pinnately veined, stiff or leathery.
12. Leaves large (5-8 in) and evergreen, glossy
above, orange-brown beneath. Magnolia (Magnolia)
12. Leaves smaller (1-4 in),
variable below. Rhododendron (Rhododendron)
11. Leaves palmately veined, soft, pliable. Redbud (Cercis)
10. Leaves toothed, lobed or both toothed and lobed.
13. Leaves toothed, but not lobed.
14. Leaf blade narrow (linear). Willow (Salix)
14. Leaf blade wider (ovate or oval). Cherry (Prunus)
13. Leaves lobed, with or without teeth oak.
15. Palmately veined.
16. Lobes (3-7) deep, pointed and arranged finger-
like, spherical fruit spiny and woody. Sweet Gum (Liquidambar)
16. Lobes large, often toothed, stipules
conspicuous, petiole base encloses axillary
buds, bark mottled, spherical fruit solid,
of many hairy components. Sycamore, Plane Tree (Platanus)
15. Pinnately veined, lobes variable(rounded, pointed or
bristle tipped), fruit is acorn. Oak (Quercus)
9. Leaves compound.
17. Leaves very large, pinnately compounded,
oddly pinnate. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus) Ailanthus
17. Leaves palmately compound (3 leaflets). Golden Chain (Laburnum)
1. Leaves narrow, long and thin, needlelike, scalelike or awl shaped,
often persisting for several years (evergreen).
18. Leaves elongated, narrow, thin, needlelike.
19. Leaves attached to stem singly.
20. Leaves flat in cross section (leaf does not spin easily when
rolled between finger tips).
21. Lower leaf surface somewhat white or silvery.
22. Leaves arise from branch mostly in one plane. Hemlock (Tsuga)
22. Leaves arise from all sides of branch. Fir (Abies) Fir
21. Lower leaf surface somewhat yellow-green, red berries.
20. Leaves angular (four-sided) in crosssection (leaf spins easily
when rolled between finger tips). Spruce (Picea)
19. Leaves attached to stem in groups, either fascicles (short
spur branches) or in whorls.
23. Leaves (needles) evergreen and in bundles (fascicles) of 2-5.
23. Leaves (needles) deciduous, in whorls of more than five.
18. Leaves scale-like or small, prickly needles.
24. Leaves all scale-like, branch of young growth distinctly
flat. Arborvitae (Thuja)
24. Leaves both scale-like and prickly or awl-like, branch
of young growth round (or at least not distinctly flat). Juniper (Juniperus)
See also: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/fourh/ N. Carolina Cooperative Exension
See also : the conifers
See also: What tree is it? -- by leaf
See also: Leaf Key to the Gymnosperms of the Southeastern U.S.e
link Vegetation on the web : see "on-line taxonomic keys"
Assignment:Assignment for Laboratory Exercise 1 External Plant Structure
1. Start Seedling Project. Obtain bean seeds, pots and growing
mix. Later, formulate the hypothesis you will test in
seedling project. Then, imbibe and germinate seeds. Maintain
the seedlings under treatment conditions and make measurements
as directed in guidelines for seed project.
2. Start Plants for future observations: fern spores, moss
spores, sunflower seeds, Physarum and leaf cutting of African
3. Review form and external structure of familiar herbaceous and
woody plants. Examine the plant specimens and related
information (wall charts, etc.) which are displayed throughout
the laboratory as well as those on your individual table.
Record your observations and answers to questions from the lab
exercise in your laboratory book or your class notebook. (they should document your studies of the living and preserved plant materials).
4. Review the organisms on display which illustrate biological
5. Review External Plant Structure
A. Record the structure of corn and bean seeds and seedlings
with labeled diagrams.
B. Note and record variations of plant parts when examining
specimens on display.
C. Record developmental sequences of bean seedlings as
you work your Seedling Project.
6. Key out (4) four different plants and submit at start of next
lab as directed below:
A. Select one plant with each of the following
1. A plant with needle or scale-like leaves.
2. A plant with simple, broad leaves.
3. A plant with compound, broad leaves.
4. A plant with opposite or whorled leaves.
B. Present your four keyed plants in the following manner.
1. Tape (clear tape) or glue a representative portion of
each plant to a sheet of white paper. The sample should include
sufficient plant material so it is possible to key the specimen. In
most cases this means that you need a small branch
with several nodes bearing leaves. In a few cases additional
material may be needed to confirm the steps taken in the key.
2. Include at least two leaves (one showing the under
surface, one showing the upper surface) and a portion of
stem showing the features (e.g., nodes, buds, pith) used
in the key.
3. On each page indicate:
a. your name, section and date at top right of page
b. the characteristic the sample represents (e.g.,
simple, compound, opposite, needle-like) at top center
c. the name of the plant at bottom center
d. steps you followed in key to identify plant lower right
e. book or WWW address you used to confirm the plant
name you obtained from the key in the lower right
7. Prepare for a lab quiz ( probably at the start of the third laboratory
A brief set of directions follows. Specific directions will be
provided in lab together with the materials needed.
1 Physarum You will study Physarum cultures in the Cell lab
(Exercise 2) and the Fungi lab (Exercise 9).
Obtain a culture dish containing the plasmodium of
Physarum, and a fresh Petri dish containing 2% agar. Cut a
portion of the plasmodium about 1 cm2 from the culture.
Cultures of the plasmodial slime mold, Physarum, will be
provided growing in Petri dishes on filter paper or on 2%
agar. If the plasmodium is growing on agar, simply cut a block
of agar containing the yellow plasmodium by pulling the tips
of a pair of forceps a short distance through the agar. Then
cut the agar at right angles to the first cut in a similar
manner. If the plasmodium is growing on filter paper, either
cut or tear a small piece of the paper containing the yellow
Transfer the plasmodium to the Petri dish of fresh agar
such that the block of agar containing the plasmodium is
sitting somewhere near the center of the dish. Sprinkle a
small pinch of flakes of oat meal (Quaker's Oats, Mother's Oats,
etc.) on the surface of the dish. Allow a few flakes to land
on or near the plasmodium, but also place some flakes at a
distance. Cover the Petri dish and tape the lid in place.
Label the dish (your name, date, Physarum, etc.) and wrap the
dish in clear plastic wrap to prevent the loss of humidity.
Take the Petri dish containing the culture with you and record
your observations. At home or in your dorm, place the dish
where you can observe it as the Physarum feeds and grows. If
the culture does seem to be drying you may remove the cover
and add a few drops of water. Physarum does not need light,
and unless it gets too hot or too cold not much can go wrong.
Bring your Physarum culture with you to next week's lab,
2 Sunflower You will study Sunflower plants in the stem lab
Obtain a small plastic flower pot. Fill the pot to one
inch below the rim with sterile growing mix (mixture of peat
and either perlite or vermiculite and containing starter
fertilizer). Moisten the growing mix and plant 3 or 4
sunflower seeds. Space the seeds at equal distances on the
surface of the moistened potting mixture. Push each seed to a
depth of about one inch into the potting mix. Use your fingers
to fill the holes and tamp the surface gently. Label the pot
and place in a location where the plants can grow until they
are needed in the stem lab. Our technician and I will help
water the plants as needed.
3 Moss You will study Moss plants in the Bryophyte lab (Exercise
Obtain a Petri dish containing 2% agar. Sprinkle the moss
spores as uniformly as possible over the surface. Use a soft
(watercolor) brush and carefully distribute moss spores onto the
surface of the agar. Try to work in an area where there is
little or no breeze or air current because the spores are
tiny. Cover the dish and label. Wrap the dish in clear plastic
wrap to prevent evaporation. The dishes will be kept at room
temperature and illuminated until needed in the Bryophyte lab
4 Fern You will study your Fern plants in the Lower Vascular
Plant lab (Exercise 11)
Obtain a Petri dish containing 2% agar. Fern leaves with
sori bearing sporangia containing mature spores will be
provided. Gently rub a fertile fern leaf between your
fingertips over the surface of the agar. Sprinkle fern spores
uniformly over the agar surface. Cover the dish and label.
Wrap the dish in clear plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
The dishes will be kept at room temperature and illuminated
until needed in the Lower Vascular Plant lab (Exercise 11).
5 African Violet You will study African Violet plants in the
Root and Angiosperm labs (Exercises 3 + 13)
Saintpaulia, the African Violet, is not a violet at all,
rather it belongs to the Gesneriad family. These plants are
reliable flower producers and are among the most successful
flowering house plants. To flower, African Violets need a fair
amount of light. They also respond well to being fertilized
and good air circulation. They do not tolerate cold and you
should avoid overwatering or even getting water on the
Select a plant to propagate from those available. Remove
one healthy outer leaf by breaking (don't cut) it from the
plant. A leaf can be removed easily if you hold it by the
petiole and simply turn (rotate) the petiole until it breaks
free. Place the end of the petiole in vermiculite (or perlite)
in a pot or tray which has been moistened uniformly. Provide
a cover such a clear plastic wrap to keep the humidity high.
Make sure the cover does not touch the leaf. Place the leaf
cuttings where they will be kept warm and receive adequate
light ( avoid direct sunlight).