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Plant Classification

Plant Classification

Introduction

You now have the opportunity to practice sorting local plants into groups. Use the field guide to identify several of the plant species in your study area and gather them. You should follow the directions on this student sheet to do this activity.


Collecting Plant Specimens
Materials

  • Field notebook
  • Camera and photo software
  • Plastic bags
  • A dandelion digger, small pick, or shovel is useful for digging the plants; a sharp knife to cut and trim plants is also handy

Procedure
Follow these directions to collect 10-15 plant species for classification:

  1. Collect plant specimens carefully
  2. In digging plants, be sure to get a fair sample of the root, especially of grasses, grass-like plants, and forbs—as some plants are identified by the roots.
  3. A complete specimen should show the roots, stems, leaves, and flower heads. Do not include too much plant material, as it will not dry well, and may actually mold.
  4. Soil and dead plant material should be removed when the specimen is collected.
  5. Place each plant specimen in a plastic bag and be sure to give the specimen an ID number, and take note of the plant’s location and date when collected.
  6. Take plant specimens back to the lab for identification and classification.

Classification of Plants
Follow these steps to classify your plant specimens:

  1. Use the “Family and Species Descriptions” section of your field guide to find common and scientific names for each of your specimens (species). Determine the family to which each specimen belongs.
  2. You can use your esheet to go to the Encyclopedia of Life (http://www.eol.org). Follow the directions on the esheet to find your specimen.
  3. Create a table to enter your data and an image of your specimen.


Table: Plant Classification

Specimen Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species Picture
1                
2                
3                
4                
5                
6                
7                
8                
9                
10                
11                
12                
13                
14                
15                

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AAAS