BIO 432

Field Botany



320 Harned Hall


Pinus aristata, the Bristlecone Pine has its needles clustered at the end of the limbs. These trees can survive cold, drought, and poor soil. They are highly resistant to insect attack. These abilities allow some trees to live for over 4,500 years. The oldest are found where the soil is poorest and the stress highest!

Examples of Specimens and Morphology Tips

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Why this note?

A picture of a good or a bad mount may save you lots of time and gain you a better grade.

Some good examples:

This is a good example of a large herb mounting. The herb was too large to fit onto the page, and even folding the stem was not sufficient as it would have taken several folds. Notice that the flower is present, more than one leaf is present, the base of the stem is present, and a small piece of stem with leaves attached is present.

This tree mounting is not great but will suffice. What I see is that leaves are attached to the branch, so that their attachment can be seen, and that both the upper and lower surfaces are visible.

This forb (herb) has some problems, but has some good points, too. The lower portion of the plant is missing. However, the flowers and leaves are well done.

Here are two trees, one with more information than the other. First, the specimen on the right is not quite a single leaf. The bottom of the leaf petiole (stalk) is cut off. The only good part of the specimen on the left is in the lower left corner. That is a leaf attached to a branch with the fruiting body. Lots of information. What is lacking is a couple more leaves, so that their branching pattern is evident.

Bad Examples:

Terrible. Rotting due to incomplete preservation. Identified by the label. Boo.

A single leaf on a notebook page? No credit.

Same problem as above. No credit

Two different identifications on the same page? Not good. Each a single leaf with no branch, no flower, no fruit, no bark. No good.



Morphology tips.

I haven't the pictures to do it all, but I have some that illustrate important morphological points.


These two pictures compare a branch with several leaves to a close-up of a compound leaf that looks like a branch. On the left is a branch. You can see prominent axillary buds where the leaf petioles meet the stem. On the right, the arrows point to where buds might be, but they are missing, so this is a doubly compound leaf. The thick stalk is the leaf petiole, and a secondary stalk splits off. The leaflets are attached to the secondary stalk.

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Last updated July 9, 2013