Summer 2024

(click image below to navigate to Plant Kingdom Lecture Slides)


For the midterm on Wednesday May 29 (where did the month go???) you should be able to:

  1. Unambiguously define the various life cycle terms (spore, gamete, etc.).
  2. Sketch/describe/recognize the typical sporophytes and gametophytes for the major plants types (moss, fern, flower) we studied.
  3. Produce or interpret a plant life cycle diagram with all the terms (sporophytes, sporangium, meiosis, spores, etc.)
  4. Explain/interpret double fertilization in flowering plants.
  5. Explain/define “fruit” and “seed,” with the peanut as example.
  6. Describe tree leaf arrangement and complexity.
  7. Identify trees with common name, genus, and selected natural history (two facts per tree) info for each.
  8. Set forth or identify flower parts, including collective terms (sepals calyx perianth, etc.)
  9. Describe/sketch flower type/ovary position, gynoecium type, and symmetry.
  10. Sketch or identify different inflorescence types.
  11. Identify and/or give examples of different fruit types.
  12. Provide the name of the plant families depicted by drawings and short description of pertinent features and.  floral formulas and the cute little “icons” at the tops of the worksheets.
  13. Sketch and interpret the unique floral anatomy and capitulum types in the Asteraceae, including the special way that pollen is presented on the backs of the stigma lobes as the style grows through the anther-tube).
  14. State the requested natural history info about families from the question set/botany text essays.


Effective stewardship of natural areas depends upon an accurate accounting of the biotic resources, particularly the vegetation, present on a site.  The development of a site-specific plant species list, along with a written description of the plant communities that are there (including relevant information about the human and natural ecology of the plants) is often desired by natural resource agencies, landowners, and environmental organizations. This substantial (100 point) assignment is to perform and document a botanical survey like the ones performed by professional field botanists engaged in environmental assessment. The specifications for this project are here (link to .pdf below)



(touch-screen navigate using 2 fingers) 


Due ThursdayMay 16 (credit 20 pts.)

Tree Assignment Content Guidelines: For context and inspiration, read this article in a recent New York Times (LINK). Cite and expand upon the points that Popkin makes in your tree page.

This week we will apply and extend the tree identification skills that we learned last week. Go out into the world and discover 8 wild (not cultivated) broad-leaved (not conifer) trees. Identify them to species using your Peterson’s Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs. At least half of them must belong to different genera than the 8 we learned in class. Photograph your 8 trees close enough up (close up enough?) (up close enough??) (up with enough closeness???)  to see the features that allow it to be recognized for what it is. Provide two photos of each tree –one showing the overall shape and form, and one showing leaf details. To acheive further fame and glory, include some pictures of the bark or the fruit, if present.

Provide the following information about each tree:

    • common and scientific names, the latter written properly in terms of capitalization and italics.
    • a written description of the pertinent identification features: leaf arrangement, complexity, and other traits that, taken together, distinguish that particular species.
    • where you saw the tree, both the site locations and the habitat (the type of environment, i.e., swamp forest), and any impressions you had of thr tree and the setting.  What was it like to meet this tree?
    • for each tree, provide TWO interesting statements about the tree’s human or natural ecology that you hadn’t known before, from the following sources.
      ONE of the the facts needs to come from your field guide, and be cited (copy/paste) as such (Petrides, George A. 1972, Trees and Shrubs of Northeast and North Central US and Southeast and South Central Canada (Peterson Field Guide). Houghton Miflin, 428 pp.).
      ANOTHER of the facts should be from a reliable and interesting internet source and must be cited, both by site name and hyperlink. Herer are four  recommendations, properly cited:
      1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (ACSA2)
      2. Native American Ethnobotany: A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants.
      3. Minnesota Wildflowers
      4. Illinois Wildflowers
    • Do please have fun with this; be creative, and be sure to compare your experiences with the ones recounted by Gabriel Popkin in the “Tree Blindness” article you read.

Some exemplary web sites from past classes are the following. Check out their TREES pages for inspiration and format guidance.

From the Archives: Examples of Student Web Sites

Meredith B.
Logan F.
Laura H.
Anna R.

Let’s Set Up Web Sites
(pages not posts; full width, no sidebars)

Hi ho Botanists! In class on Wednesday you all were assigned a name that  you will use as the name (web address) of your new web site. For example, Lizzy’s site is Follow the instructions in the video below, being sure to adhere to the following principles:

  1. Make “PAGES” not posts. Be sure to delete the sample page and the sample post that the system starts you out with, so as to not have a cluttered menu.
  2. Use the “customize” function to add a header image.
  3. Scroll down to “Template” and select “Full Width No Sidebars.”
  4. Introduce yourself yourself, perhaps by reviewing the main points on the “coat of arms” you made in class. The coats are shown below and you can right-click and save yours onto your computer, then upload it onto your site to enhance your introduction. (On this page, these function as links to your web sites.) Tell the world why you are interested in plants, and what you hope to accomplish this semester, and lifelong-wise, with respect to our green friends (and mycoheterotrophic non-green ones too).
  5. For the time being, skip (omit) the “Jetpack” plugin install. That faciliates very nice photo galleries, but we may not need them.

Have fun with this!






Alex F.
Anya A.
Austin C.
Braydon C.
Caitlin B.
Cameron L.
Eliza W.
Eva H..
Jay S.
Kayla G.
Dr. K
Leslia C..
Lizzy S.
Max C.
Miranda W.
Myah D.
Nora R.
Rex H.
Sam K
Trevor E.
Zach F.