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Vegetative Parts of Plants. Spring 2012. Descriptive Terminology. LEARN DESCRIPTIVE TERMINOLOGY = PHYTOGRAPHY - Vegetative - Floral/inflorescence - Fruit ASSOCIATE STRUCTURES WITH TERMS - Significant range of variation - Learn to identify major structures and

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Descriptive terminology
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
R. W. Pohl Conservatory5th 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.


Sequoiadendron

most massive

Sequoia—tallest


Among the smallest plants in the world:

Duckweeds (Lemna, Araceae)

Root and 1-2 leaves; floating aquatic


Vegetative parts of plants1
Vegetative Parts of Plants

NON-REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS:

ROOTS - STEMS - LEAVES


Fig. 9.1 from Simpson


Roots
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; adventitious roots

    - no nodes/internodes present in roots!

  • DESCRIPTIVE TERMS:

    - Taproot (carrot) vs. fibrous roots (grass)

    - Fibrous, adventitious, aerial, fleshy, prop


fibrous

storage

buttress

pneumatophores

Fig. 9.2 from Simpson


Fibrous roots

Tap root


Adventitious roots – roots

produced by structures other

than another root(e.g.,stems)


Root Modifications:

Ficus (Moraceae) “Strangler Fig”

Adaptation for anchoring

and nutrient gathering –

begins as an

epiphyte, and

sends down

adventitious

roots.


Prop roots (adventitious)

Pandanus (Pandanaceae)


Haustorial roots

Found in parasitic

plants.

Host stem

Dodder (Cuscuta,

Convolvulaceae)



Modifications of Roots:

Mangroves – Anchoring, support, and

aeration (coastline habitats)


Mangrove:

Pre-dehiscence

germination

Root is already

emerged from

seed before it

is separated

from the tree.


Root Modifications: Aerenchyma in aquatics


Mycorrhizal associations were critical

to the invasion of land by plants and

are nearly universal in plants.

endomycorrhizae

ectomycorrhizae


Stems
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.


Fig. 9.1 from Simpson



Fig. 9.3 from Simpson



Stems some can be hollow loss of pith during maturation
Stems: Some can be hollow;loss of pith during maturation


Modifications in

the Petiolar Region

Swollen nodes:

Characteristic of the Pink

Family (Caryophyllaceae)



Photosynthetic Stems

cladodes

succulent stems


Tussock:

In plants with a

graminoid (grass-

like) habit, stems

may not be evident.

This example is a

‘tussock’ habit,

forming clumps.



No apparent stems!

Subterranean horizontal stems: Rhizomes



Tubers (underground storage stems):

wsu.edu

energyfarms.com


Bulbs: stems (internodes) are

shortened and leaves are fleshy

and protective.


Woody Stems – Arborescent or

shrubby habit


Stem Modifications:

Bark (phellem or cork)

Most woody plants produce bark, a growth of the cork cambial layer, for mechanical protection and to reduce water loss.


Leaves
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




Modifications in

the Petiolar Region

Ocrea: stipular tube

(characteristic of most of the Buckwheat Family, Polygonaceae)


pulvinus

(lower)


Modifications in

the Petiolar Region

Sheathing leaf bases



Unusual venation: Melastomataceae


Leaf blade
Leaf blade:

Simple

Compound

Pinnate

Palmate


Compound leaves

Fig. 9.9,

Simpson




Variation in leaf shape morphology:

Sassafras albidum (Lauraceae)



Leaf modifications

Leaf tendrils

Bud scales


Modifications for capturing insects
Modifications for capturing insects

Droseraceae

Sarraceniaceae


Leaf Modifications:

Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae)

Adaptation for vegetative

propagation – sheds pre-formed plantlets from leaf margins.


Bulbs: stems (internodes) are

shortened and leaves are fleshy

and protective.


Indumentum: Surface Structures

Hairs, trichomes, scales


Hair types

Fig. 9.59 in Simpson




Summary
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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