Week 4 Laboratory

Basal Angiosperms (ANITA & Magnoliids) & Basal Eudicots (Ranunculales, Proteales)

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This lab will cover some of the earliest diverging flowering plants. We will examine basal angiosperms – two of three main groups (ANITA & Magnoliids). The third – the Monocots – will be studied at the end of the course. We will also look at the earliest diverging eudicots (or basal eudicots) that include the Ranunculids - buttercups and their relatives in the order Ranunculales - and the Proteales (sycamore, lotus lily).

The laboratory is designed so that you become familiar with these groups by dissecting flowers of representative members, observing demonstration materials of other members, and by learning to identify local genera (and knowing genus, family, and common name). Two species are also provided for practice in using a genus key from the Field Manual of Michigan Flora (Voss & Reznicek).

Refer to pp. 185-200, 276-285 in Plant Systematics, 2nd ed., and pp. 27-53 in Zomlefer resource for information on this group of angiosperms. Also, please visit the University of Wisconsin Plant Systematics Collection homepage that will describe these and other families in some detail and are linked to images: [http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/courses/systematics/index.html]


I. Detailed floral dissections on frozen/pickled flowers. Include these in your laboratory notebook with illustrations and labeled parts. Refer to Field Manual of Michigan Flora [M] for descriptions of the species as needed and to Plant Systematics, 2nd ed., [T] and Zomlefer [Z] for descriptions and drawings of the families.


A. Thalictrum thalictroides (Ranunculaceae - rue anemone) (pp. 797-799 [M], 280 [T], 42-45 [Z])

Thalictrum has a large number of primitive features.  Look for presence of all floral parts; numerous parts at each whorl; carpels are separate and free [apocarpy]. They have slightly more derived indehiscent fruits with one ovule per carpel [what kind of fruit is produced then? what kind of placentation?].  Indicate the floral formula of Thalictrum next to your illustrations.


B. Clematis (Ranunculaceae - clematis) (pp. 787-788 [M], 280 [T], 42-45 [Z])

Clematis is a vine with typical family compound leaves. Like the marsh marigold, there are only sepals. Unlike marsh marigold, fruits are one seeded achenes with feathery style for wind dispersal.


II. Demonstration floral dissections. Look at these in as much detail as you want, but be sure to identify and understand the characters indicated on the sheet next to each floral dissection. Many of these also will be found in the Field Manual of Michigan Flora, Plant Systematics, 2nd ed. [T], or Zomlefer [Z].


1. Nymphaea sp. (Nymphaeaceae - water lily) (pp. 706-707 [M], 187-188 [T], 49-54 [Z])


  B. Magnoliid complex

2. Magnolia stellata (Magnoliaceae - magnolia) (p. 192-195 [T], 29-31 [Z])

3. Asarum canadense (Aristolochiaceae - wild ginger) (pp. 351 [M], 192 [T],33-35 [Z])


  C. Ranunculids

4. Caltha palustris (Ranunculaceae - marsh marigold) (pp. 787 [M], 280 [T], 42-45 [Z])

5. Podophyllum peltatum (Berberidaceae - may apple) (pp. 461 [M], 278-279 [T])


III. 15 genera of Wisconsin plants to be able to identify on site (* = not presently found natively in Wisconsin). A = ANITA, M = Magnoliid, BE = lower eudicot.

Herbarium specimens of these plants will be marked to genus (and to family) and will be kept in the laboratory until the next laboratory exam when you will be tested on them. Images of each of these required genera are provided with each specimen and on the course webpage for this lab. Other images are available on the Michigan Flora webpage at the University of Michigan Herbarium website and the Wisflora webpage at the Wisconsin State Herbarium. Use the Field Manual of Michigan Flora (Voss & Reznicek) [copies of the book are available] as much as possible to understand why each genus is different from other genera in the same family. This will help you not only to identify the plants to genus and family, but might be necessary as we will test you with different herbarium sheets, images, or live representatives of these plants!

1. *Magnolia (Magnoliaceae - magnolia) M

2. Nuphar (Nymphaeaceae - yellow pond lily) A

3. Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae - water lily) A

4. Asarum (Aristolochiaceae - wild ginger) M

5. Aquilegia (Ranunculaceae - columbine) BE

6. Caltha (Ranunculaceae - marsh marigold) BE

7. Clematis (Ranunculaceae - clematis) BE

8. Hepatica (or Anemone, Ranunculaceae - hepatic) BE

9. Ranunculus (Ranunculaceae - crowfoot, buttercup) BE

10. Thalictrum (Ranunculaceae - crowfoot, buttercup) BE

11. Berberis (Berberidaceae - barberry) BE

12. Podophyllum (Berberidaceae - may apple, mandrake) BE

13. Sanguinaria (Papaveraceae - bloodroot) BE

14. Dicentra (Papaveraceae- Dutchman's breeches, squirrel corn) BE

15. Nelumbo (Nelumbonaceae - lotus lily) BE


IV. Key these two plant specimens to species using the Field Manual of Michigan Flora (Voss & Reznicek) [copies of the book are available]. This kind of question might well be on a laboratory exam. To check your answer or help when stuck in the key, the correct identification is written on the bottom of the card with each set of specimens.

A. Anemone sp. (Ranunculaceae) [p. 784]

B. Ranunculus sp. (Ranunculaceae) [p. 792]