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Botany Plant ID Project

  1. Sep 16, 2012 #1

    I live in Missouri I'm currently in a Botany class that has a project that requires us(me and my lab partner) to find 35 Missouri native plants, tree's, shrubs, etc. Any helpful advice on how to go about this would be appreciated. Department of conservation said go to parks and pick tree's and flowers and stuff and I also ordered this book which looks pretty good.


    There's also a book by Don Kurz(Trees of Missouri) which is pretty good too, but that one doesn't have the glossy photos Trees Of Missouri Field guide has.

    Project isn't due till November, 21st, but fall is coming up and we need bark, leaves, terminal bud, bud, etc, tons of part with each sample. Although the "A" project she showed us didn't have all these. She's one of those teachers who talks real strict but is actually a smoothy when it comes grading time. Also if I turn it in like 2 weeks early then me and my partner get something like 20 points extra credit ---------> woot.

    *Coming later* -- The text explanation of the assignment, for further explanation in her words.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2012 #2


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    Which department of conservation?
  4. Sep 17, 2012 #3
    The one in Missouri, where I live of course
  5. Sep 17, 2012 #4
    Would this help? :smile:
  6. Sep 17, 2012 #5

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    What your prof wants is for you to find plants that are not originally from somewhere else.

    Almost anything a landscaped area like a campus or a park is foreign. Plants you know as weeds usually are foreign species as well. Your best bet is to go to an area that was let fallow and undisturbed for quite a while. Years. Also, most annuals will die off at first frost, but shrubs and trees will hang onto leaves longer.

    To be able to identify your plant, you need several leaves on a branch for woody plants, not a compund leaf (black walnut has a compund leaf). And you will need at least a flower or seed pod for annuals. This is so you can figure out what plant you found.

    All of these are organized so non-botanists can use them easily, lotsa pictures, low cost, and libraries have them:

    For trees: https://www.amazon.com/National-Audubon-Society-Field-American/dp/0394507606

    For wildflowers - and lots of other things - plus it has an iPhone app:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. Sep 17, 2012 #6
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  8. Sep 18, 2012 #7
    I would like to pose a question myself regarding your project. What exactly is a "native species" in the scientific sense?. Obviously, artificial state boundaries have no scientific relevance. The state of Missouri lies at the western edge of the Eastern Temperate Forest biome which extends from Missouri to the Atlantic coast and from the Gulf coast to Canada. I don't think a native plant of Maine would necessarily be considered a native plant of Missouri because it's from the same biome. Sub-biomes are recognized and Missouri seems to lie in at least two. Northern Missouri is very similar to Iowa while southwestern Missouri is very similar to northwestern Arkansas. The two areas are quite different from each other. The north is flat and merges into the natural eastern prairie region that extends from parts of Indiana to the Great Plains. (Very little of this region remains in its natural state because of farming and ranching.) The south is dominated by the hilly and forested Ozark Plateau which extends into Arkansas. More native species of this sub-biome probably survive here. The Mississippi Valley probably represents a third sub-biome.

    My question: Is the object of this project to just find "native species" within the political boundaries of the state, or to understand "native species" in terms of the sub-biomes which happen to lie partially in the state? The Ozark Plateau, which straddles two states, is a biologically distinct and interesting region and should be studied in its own right. In other words, maybe the the proper scientific question should be the native species of the Ozark region and the native species of the open woodland-prairie or eastern prairie sub-biome..



    (Only the google url seems to work for this).
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  9. Sep 19, 2012 #8
    I'll be sure to relay that question to my teacher.
  10. Sep 19, 2012 #9
    Thanks I bought this book called Native Trees of Missouri by Stan Tekitijjj...something like that
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Sep 22, 2012 #10

    I guess what were learning is how to ID and key out plants, even though I'll probably never do this again. 1. Cause I hate Botany 2. This project is the most boring thing I've ever done
  12. Sep 22, 2012 #11
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/87057833@N08/ [Broken]

    Anybody know what plant species these are? They are mostly tree's and some shrub's from eastern Jackson County, Missouri.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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