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Plant Collections Due next Friday, November 21st. Plant Families Things which are alike, in nature, grow to look alike. Nobody. Moraceae Utricaceae Fabaceae Fagaceae. Moraceae.

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plant families things which are alike in nature grow to look alike nobody

Plant FamiliesThings which are alike, in nature, grow to look alike. Nobody





  • Moraceae is a family of flowering plants commonly known as the mulberry or fig family. It comprises 53 genera and 1500 species of plants widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, less common in temperate climates. Included are well-known plants such as the fig, banyan, breadfruit, mulberry, and Osage-orange.
  • The Moraceae are monoecious or dioecious trees shrubs, lianas, or rarely herbs, nearly all with milky sap.
  • The leaves are simple and alternate or rarely opposite. The stipules are small and lateral or sometimes they form a cap over the bud and leave a cylindrical scar.
  • The flowers are unisexual and minute, and are usually densely aggregated. These aggregations frequently take the form of pendulous aments or catkins.
  • Usually, the perianth consists of 4 or 5 undifferentiated tepals, but sometimes fewer or no perianth segments are present.
  • A typical male flower has four stamens, one opposite each perianth segment.
  • The female flowers have a bicarpellate pistil, generally with two styles, although one may be suppressed.
  • The ovary is superior or inferior and contains a single pendulous ovule in a solitary locule.
  • Fruit types include drupes and achenes that are often coalesced or otherwise aggregated into a multiple accessory fruit.
moraceae in montana
Moraceae in Montana?
  • There are no representatives of this family which are native to the state. Two genera of this family that have been observed growing here (but planted as ornamentals) are mulberry(Morus spp.) and Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera). Osage-orange is marginally hardy in protected micro-climates in Montana.
morus alba family moraceae
Morus albaFamily: Moraceae
  • The ripe fruit is edible and can be used in pies, tarts, wines and cordials.
  • Unripe fruit and green parts of the plant have a white sap that is intoxicating and mildly hallucinogenic.

Common or white mulberry

Grows in Montana but native to


morus spp family moraceae
Morus spp.Family: Moraceae
  • Leaves on mulberries are simple, undivided or lobed, dimorphic, serrate or denate, ovate to broad ovate. They are usually dark green and shiny on adaxial surface.
morus spp family moraceae10
Morus spp.Family: Moraceae
  • The leaves of a few species of the Morus genus are used as food for silkworms. Morus alba is one such species.
  • Many birds and animals eat the fruit of our native North American mulberry (Morus rubra)
maclura pomifera family moraceae
Maclura pomiferaFamily: Moraceae
  • Osage-orange, aka as Hedge-apple, and bois d’arc is native to Arkansas to Oklahoma and Texas but grown far out of its native range. The wood is very rot resistant so makes good fence posts. It is also strong and resilient, so is used to make bows.
maclura pomifera family moraceae13
Maclura pomiferaFamily: Moraceae
  • The fruit of Osage-orange is a large 4” to 6” wide globose syncarp of drupes covered with a yellow-green rind.
  • The fruits are heavy and drop like bombs from trees to dent car roofs.
  • Believe me!!!
ficus carica l family moraceae
Ficus carica L.Family: Moraceae
  • Common fig has been grown since earliest times for its fruit.
ficus carica l
Ficus carica L.
  • The fig is commonly thought of as fruit, but it is properly the flower of the fig tree. It is in fact a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds grow together to form a single mass.
  • A fig is an involuted, nearly closed receptacle with many small flowers arranged on the inner surface. Thus the actual flowers of the fig are unseen unless the fig is cut open.
ficus benjamina l family moraceae
Ficus benjamina L.Family: Moraceae
  • Common ficus is widely used as a houseplant in our climate. It grows into a large tree outside in tropical to sub-tropical areas like California and Florida.
artocarpus altilus family moraceae
Artocarpus altilusFamily: Moraceae
  • Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a tree and fruit native to the Malay Peninsula and western Pacific islands. It was collected and distributed by Lieutenant William Bligh as one of the botanical samples collected by HMS Bounty in the late 18th century, on a quest for cheap, high-energy food sources for British slaves in the West Indies.
  • The Urticaceae (aka the nettle family) are monoecious or dioecious herbs or infrequently shrubs or small trees comprising 54 genera and 1160 species, often with specialized stinging hairs.
  • The leaves are alternate or opposite, simple, and almost always stipulate.
  • The minute, unisexual flowers are in cymose clusters. The perianth is of mostly 4 or 5 undifferentiated tepals or is sometimes absent. The male flowers have a stamen opposite each perianth segment. The female flowers have a single simple pistil with a superior or inferior ovary that contains one basal ovule in its solitary locule. The stigma is brushlike and elongated or is capitate. The fruit is an achene or drupe; in a few species these coalesce to form a multiple fruit.
pilea spp family urticaceae
Pilea spp.Family: Urticaceae
  • Many different species of Pilea are used as ornamental plants both indoors (in colder climates like ours) and outdoors in warmer climates. Pilea represents a large number of species in the family Utricaceae.
urticaceae in montana
Urticaceae in Montana?
  • Dorn 1984 lists two genera in this family in Montana:
  • Parietaria (1), Urtica (1)
parietaria pennsylvanica family urticaceae
Parietaria pennsylvanicaFamily: Urticaceae
  • Pennsylvania pellitory is native to Montana and occurs in moist, shaded areas throughout the state. Pennsylvania Pellitory lacks stinging hairs and its foliage is harmless. This annual plant is about ½–1½' tall and usually unbranched, and its leaves are ¾" across or less.
urtica dioica l family urticaceae
Urtica dioica L.Family: Urticaceae
  • Stinging nettles are a dioecious herbaceous perennial, growing to three feet or more tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It is edible when young (lightly steamed).
urtica dioica l
Urtica dioica L.
  • The leaves and stems are very hairy with non-stinging hairs and also bear many stinging hairs (trichomes) whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT or serotonin, and possibly formic acid. This mixture of chemical compounds cause a sting or paresthesia from which the species derives its common name, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, burn hazel.
urtica dioica l25
Urtica dioica L.

Beware of stinging nettles when tromping through moist areas

in Montana.

  • The Fagaceae (aka beech or oak family) are monoecious trees and shrubs comprising 9 genera and about 900 species.
  • The leaves are alternate and spiral, simple but often lobed, entire or serrate, with pinnate venation. Stipules present but deciduous.
  • The male flowers have a 4-7 lobed perianth of tepals and 4-40 stamens and are usually grouped in pendulous catkins. The female flowers are solitary or in small clusters. They have a 4-6 lobed perianth of tepals, and are often subtended by a series of bracteoles comprising an involucre. The single compound pistil of 3-6 carpels has an inferior ovary with 3-6 locules and two basal or nearly basal ovules in each locule. The fruit is called an acorn. It is a 1-seeded nut that is basally enveloped by a cupule derived from the involucre.
  • Widespread in tropical to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The family is exceptionally important as a source of timber for construction of all kinds of things.
  • Chestnuts are edible, and acorns are also occasionally eaten.
fagaceae in montana
Fagaceae in Montana?
  • Dorn 1984 lists only one species of this family occuring natively in Montana. This is
  • Quercus macrocarpa Michx. , aka known as burr oak. It grows on hillsides and canyons in Carter and Powder River counties in extreme southeastern Montana. It is planted in landscapes throughout the state.
quercus macrocarpa michx family fagaceae
Quercus macrocarpa Michx.Family: Fagaceae

Burr oak leaves remind some

people of violins.

  • The Legume or Bean family (Leguminosae) are mostly herbs but include also shrubs and trees found in both temperate and tropical areas. They comprise one of the largest families of flowering plants, numbering some 630 genera and 18000 species.
  • It is the third largest family of angiosperms.
  • The leaves are stipulate, nearly always alternate, and range from pinnately or palmately compound to simple. The petiole base is commonly enlarged into a pulvinus (a cushionlike swelling at the base of the stalk of a leaf or leaflet.)
  • The flowers are slightly to strongly perigynous (having sepals, petals, and stamens around the edge of a cuplike receptacle containing the ovary) , zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical) and commonly in racemes, spikes, or heads.
  • The perianth commonly consists of a calyx and corolla of 5 segments each.
  • The petals are overlapping (imbricate) in bud with the posterior petal (called the banner or flag) outermost (i.e., exterior) in position.
  • The petals are basically distinct except for variable connation of the two lowermost ones called the keel petals. The lateral petals are often called the wings.
  • The androecium most commonly consists of 10 stamens in two groups (i.e., they are diadelphous with 9 stamens in one bundle and the 10th stamen more or less distinct).
  • The pistil is simple, comprising a single style and stigma, and a superior ovary with one locule containing 2-many marginal ovules.
  • The fruit is usually a legume.

Wisteria flower

  • Many species have root nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
  • Important food plants second only to Poaceae in economic importance.
fabaceae in montana
Fabaceae in Montana?
  • Dorn 1984 includes:
  • Amorpha, Astragalus (many), Caragana, Coronilla, Dalea, Glychyrrhiza, Hedysarum, Lathyrus, Lotus, Lupinus, Medicago, Melilotus, Onobrychis, Oxytropis, Psoralea, Robinia, Sphaerophysa, Thermopsis, Trifolium, Vicia.
oxytropis lambertii
Oxytropis lambertii
  • This species can cause locoism, a chronic disease that results after long-term grazing. The plant contains swainsonine, an alkaloid, which results in cellular dysfunction through a long biological process. Affected animals show nervous system impairment, with symptoms such as dullness and excitement, as well as immune system impairment. Abortion and congenital birth deformities may occur. Animals affected include cattle, horses, and sheep. Animals may become habituated to locoweed. Death can result (James 1983, Cheeke and Schull 1985).
astragalus crassicarpus nutt family fabaceae55
Astragalus crassicarpus Nutt.Family: Fabaceae

Native cultures in Montana used the fleshy, plum-like pods of ground-plum

milk-vetch for food…raw, boiled, or pickled.

psoralea esculenta pursh family fabaceae57
Psoralea esculenta PurshFamily: Fabaceae
  • Edible Parts: Root.
  • Root - raw or cooked. It can also be dried for later use. The dried root can be ground into a powder and used with cereals in making cakes, porridges and etc. Starchy and glutinous, the raw root is said to have a sweetish turnip-like taste. The plant is best harvested as the tops die down at the end of the growing season. This food is a staple and also considered to be a luxury item by many native North American Indian tribes.
  • From Plants for a Future website
psoralea esculenta pursh family fabaceae58
Psoralea esculenta PurshFamily: Fabaceae

Fleshy root of Indian Turnip or breadroot

why do beans cause gas
Why do beans cause gas?
  • Beans (legumes) cause gas because they contain a sugar, oligosaccharide, that the human body can not break down. Oligosaccharides are large molecules and are not broken down and absorbed by the lining of the small intestine as other sugars are. This is because the human body does not produce the enzyme that breaks down oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides make it all the way through the GI tract to the large intestine still intact. The bacteria that live in the small intestine break down the oligosaccharides.
  • This produces the gas that must eventually come to pass!