Descriptive Terminology LEARN DESCRIPTIVE TERMINOLOGY = PHYTOGRAPHY - Vegetative - Floral/inflorescence - Fruit ASSOCIATE STRUCTURES WITH TERMS - Significant range of variation - Learn to identify major structures and modifications
R. W. Pohl Conservatory 5 th floor – Bessey Hall AVAILABLE TO BIOLOGY 366 STUDENTS - Free to look at plants to get a better idea of morphological structures and taxonomic diversity. OPEN HOURS ARE 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday - Some Friday afternoons conservatory is closed for pesticide applications. Some research areas are not available for general viewing. - Access by the elevator. Pay attention to warning signs! PLANTS AND PLANT PARTS ARE NOT TO BE REMOVED - Pesticides have been applied to all plant material. - Do not eat any plant products. - Do not disturb any research areas.
Roots FUNCTIONS - Anchoring and support - Absorption of water and mineral nutrients; mycorrhizae STRUCTURE - xylem and phloem usually in a central vascular strand - no cuticle (except on aerial roots), root hairs. - branching pattern variable - no nodes/internodes present in roots! DESCRIPTIVE TERMS: - Taproot (carrot) vs. fibrous roots (grass) - Fibrous, adventitious, aerial, fleshy, prop - Adventitious roots (from stems)
Mycorrhizal associations were critical to the invasion of land by plants and are nearly universal in plants. endomycorrhizaeectomycorrhizae Roots and other organisms
Some angiosperm families (primarily the legumes, Fabaceae) have root nodules housing nitrogren-fixing bacteria
Stems FUNCTIONS - support and exposure of leaves to light, flowers to pollination agents, fruits to dispersal agents - vascular conduction of water/minerals and photosynthates - sometimes the primary photosynthetic organ STRUCTURE - nodes and internodes; rearrangement of vascular tissues - ring of bundles or scattered bundles in primary stems - secondary growth produces secondary xylem (wood) - epidermis in primary stems; bark in woody plants - buds: terminal, axillary/lateral, bud scale scars DESCRIPTIVE TERMS: - Branching patterns; bulbs, herbaceous, woody - Horizontal stems: above ground = stolons; below = rhizomes - Vines, shrubs, trees, succulent, tendril, cladode, etc.
Leaves FUNCTIONS - light capture, production of photosynthates, transpiration STRUCTURE - petiole, stipules, pulvinus, blade (lamina), veins - vestiture (minimally a cuticle), hairs, scales, etc. - simple vs. compound (blade divided into discrete parts) - many modifications, including extreme reduction - virtually always with a bud or branch in the axil DESCRIPTIVE TERMS: - Many, based on leaf shape, size, color, venation, margin, apex, base, arrangement, number, presentation
Summary Vegetative structures important in describing plants. Variations on similar basic morphology can be diagnostic for certain plant groups. An understanding of descriptive terms is essential for plant identification and to understand morphological evolution. Make lists of terms and their associated structures; drawings or diagrams, however crude, may also help, as will photos. Be sure to observe, compare and contrast related structures to avoid interpretation errors.
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