Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plant Families - Flowering Plants of Utah


This will obviously not be a comprehensive list of the flowering plant families in Utah, but these are the families that I have to know for my class.  I suppose they are some of the most common in Utah.  These are the most current names which all end with "aceae" (pronounced as though you are spelling out "A-C-E").  I'll indicate the old names and common names if I know them.

List of Families (detailed info about each follows)
Asteraceae -Sunflower Family
Boraginaceae - Borage Family
Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae) - Mustard Family
Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae) - Pea Family
Hydrophyllaceae - Waterleaf Family
Lamiaceae - Mint Family
Liliaceae - Lily Family
Malvaceae
Onagraceae
Plantaginaceae
Polemoniaceae
Rosaceae - Rose Family
Scrophulariaceae - Figwort/ Snapdragon Family


Family details (Please note this is a work in progress, bear with me as I update it as I have time to study for my final.)
Asteraceae
Sunflower Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • Disc and/ or ray flowers (composite flower)
  • "Head" inflorescence (the flat receptacle that holds all the ray and disc flowers)
  • Involucral bracts around head
  • (FYI the head and bracts are what most people think are just the flower and the sepals because they don't realize that every one of the "petals" and discs are actually individual flowers.  If this is new to you, go cut open a daisy or sunflower and look at it closely, it's so cool!)
  • Each individual flower has pappus instead of sepals.  This can take the form of hairs, awns, or scales.
  • Inferior ovary
  • Fruit is an achene (like sunflower seeds)
  • Hypanthium combines the calyx (pappus), corolla (petals), and andrecium (stamens)

 Examples
Asteraceae family - white ray flowers and yellow disc flowers  (Source)



Boraginaceae
Borage Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • 5 sepals
  • 5 petals
  • 5 stamens
  • Scorpioid inflorescence
  • Hairy
  • Fruit is 4 nutlets

Examples

Brassicaceae
Mustard Family
Formula

Characteristics
  • 4 sepals
  • 4 petals
  • 6 stamens - 4 tall and 2 short (tetradydamous)
  • The old name "cruciferae" referred to the arrangement of the petals in a cross shape
  




Examples

Fabaceae
Pea Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • 5 sepals
  • 5 petals, united
  • Petals are "pipilianaceous", meaning they look butterfly-like
  • Fruit is a legume
Examples


Hydrophyllaceae
Waterleaf Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • Thick, leathery leaves that look moist (hence their name)
Examples


Lamiaceae
Mint Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • Leaves fragrant (minty, of course!)
Examples


Liliaceae
Lily Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • Monocot (parallel veined leaves, flower parts in 3's)
  • 6 tepals (meaning 3 sepals and 3 petals but they all look like petals)
  • 6 stamens
Examples


Malvaceae
Formula
Characteristics
  • Stamens all united into a tube
Examples


Onagraceae
Formula
Characteristics
  • 5 petals, united
  • Inferior Ovary
Examples


Plantaginaceae
Formula
Characteristics
Examples


Polemoniaceae
Formula
Characteristics
Examples


Rosaceae
Rose Family
Formula
Characteristics
  • 5 sepals
  • 5 petals (or more)
  • millions of stamens (okay actually it's "5 to many", but there are usually a ton)
  • Inferior ovary
Hypanthium
Examples


Scrophulariaceae
Formula
Characteristics
  • Corolla tubular or s...
  • 5 petals, united
  • 5 sepals
Examples

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