Week 2 Laboratory
Vegetative Features, Keying, Gymnosperms
<Lab Schedule> <Next Lab>
I. Vegetative features of angiosperms
A. Minilecture on leaf types, arrangement, and other characteristics (refer to handouts in lab manual). Know the basic parts of leaves and stems, and terms provided by the lab instructor. Refer to Chapter 9 in Plant Systematics, 2nd ed., for more information and illustrations.
B. Demonstrations on various stem and leaf modifications are on display in the laboratory. Be familiar with these modifications/terms.
C. For a good review of descriptions and images of vegetative features, try the Plant Systematics website at Texas A&M.
II. Construction of a dichotomous key
A. The lab instructor will highlight the basics of how dichotomous keys work. See also the handout on Key Construction. Keys will be used extensively in the course during lab sessions and as your personal plant collection is identified to species. See Dr. James Smith's "Hints in Using Keys".
B. Working in small groups, construct a key to the following 10 plant species using leaf and stem characteristics only. This key must be handed in next week (5 points).
1. Aesculus (horse chestnut)
2. Lonicera (honeysuckle)
3. Magnolia (magnolia)
4. Rosa (rose)
5. Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
6. Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
7. Robinia (locust)
8. Parthenocissus (virginia creeper)
9. Tilia (basswood)
10. Acer negundo (box elder)
III. Keying and vegetative features of conifers (gymnosperms) in Wisconsin
A. Key out the 8 genera of conifers in Wisconsin using the conifer key and/or using the computerized dichotomous key with images on the laboratory computer.
B. Learn the genus and common name of the 8 native Wisconsin conifers and be able to recognize them vegetatively and/or with the cones. Attached is a sheet of images for each of the native genera. Additional downloadable images of the 8 genera can be found in Learn@UW for Botany 400.
Detailed information on the gymnosperm families in Wisconsin can be found in Chapter 5 of Plant Systematics, 2nd ed., pages 148-159.
IV. Vascular Pteridophytes in Wisconsin
If you collect or are interested in vascular Pteridophytes (ferns, club mosses, horsetails), visit the online keys and images of Wisconsin pteridophytes at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Herbarium website
Detailed information on the seedless vascular families in Wisconsin can be found in Chapter 4 of Plant Systematics, 2nd ed.