Botany 1.5: Intro to Plant Families

Botany 1.5: Intro to Plant Families
Jiling Lin (2017)

9 common herbaceous plant families:

-        Asteraceae
-        Brassicaeae
-        Lamiaceae
-        Apiaceae
-        Fabaceae
-        Rosaceae
-        Malvaceae
-        Solanaceae
-        Ranunculaceae

4 common tree families:

-        Pinaceae
-        Fagaceae
-        Betulaceae
-        Salicaceae     
      (I would like to add photos to this one day, but this handout is meant to accompany a class with live plants. Go meet your local herbalists and botanists!) 

9 Plant Families

Asteraceae (Aster family)
Infl: head, with ray (irregular) and/ or disk flowers (regular, 5-merous), usu subtended by involucre of bracts (phyllaries)
K: absent, or with pappus/ bristles/ awns/ scale
C: 5 fused petals
A: 5 fused stamen
G: inferior
Ex: Achillea, Echinaceae, Calendula, Arnica, Arctium, Artemisia, Taraxacum, Inula, Matricaria…

Brassicaeae (Mustard family)
K: 4 sepals
C: 4 petals
A: tetradynamous (4 long, 2 short)
G: superior, with 2 united carpels
Fruit: dry pod, usu dehiscent: Silique/ silicle
Ex: Brassica (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Bokchoy, Turnip), Radish, Horseradish…

Lamiaceae (Mint family)
K: 5-lobed or cleft, regular or bilabiate. 5 united sepals
C: irregular (bilabiate/ 2-lipped); 5 united petals
A: 4 (usu didynamous)
G: superior. 2 united carpels
Lvs: opposite, aromatic
Stems: square
Fruit: capsule with 4 smooth nutlets
Ex: Mentha, Scutellaria, Lavandula, Salvia, Stachys, Leonurus, Melissa, Ocimum, Nepeta, Monarda…

Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Infl: simple/ compound umbel
K: small, scale-like, 5, or none
C: 5 petals
A: 5 stamen
G: inferior, with 2 united carpels, 2 styles. 
Stem: hollow between nodes
Lvs: pinnately compound
Fruit: indehiscent, hard schizocarp, usu oily/ aromatic
Ex: Ligusticum, Foeniculum, Angelica, Centella, Osmorhiza, Daucus, Conium, Heracleum…

Fabaceae (Pea family)
C: irregular, papilonaceous: banner, wings, keel (5 united sepals)
Lvs: pinnately compound
Fruits: dehiscent pea-like pods
Ex: Trifolium, Astragalus, Glycyrrhiza, Medicago, Prosopis, Peuraria, Baptisia, Cassia…

Rosaceae (Rose family)
K: 5 separate
C: 5 separate
A: 5 to numerous stamen
G: perigynous. Forms a hypanthium (floral cup). Numerous styles.
Lvs: serrated alternate leaves with stipules. Simple, trifoliate, palmate, or pinnately compound.
Ex: Rosa, Crataegus, Prunus, Rubus, Potentilla, Fragaria, Agrimonia, Alchemilla…

Malvaceae (Mallow family)
K: 3-5 partially united sepals
C: 5 separate petals, regular
A: numerous fused stamen, forming a column
G: superior. Several united carpals.
Lvs: simple, lobed, alternate, often palmately lobed
Ft: schizocarp (cheeses)
Ex: Malva, Hibiscus, Althaea, Theobroma, Sphaeralcea, Gossypium…

Solanaceae (Nightshade family)
K: 5 united sepals
C: 5 united regular petals
A: 5 stamen attached to petals 
G: superior, with 2 united carpels, 1 style, 1 stigma
Lvs: glandular/ sticky, alternate
Ft: berry/ capsule
Ex: Capsicum, Lycium, Solanum, Datura, Hyoscyamus, Atropa, tomato, potato, eggplant, bellpepper…

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)
Variable: regular/ irregular, perfect/ imperfect
K: 3-15 separate sepals, usu showy
C: usu absent
A: numerous stamen; free
G: superior, 3-numerous simple pistils, usu with hooked tips
Ex: Anemone, Coptis, Hydrastis, Actaea, Clematis, Aconitum…


4 Tree Families

Pinaceae (Pine family)
Gymnosperm, with aerodynamically matched male and female strobili
-        Pine (Pinus): 1-8 needles sheathed together at the base
-        Larch (Larix): deciduous. Needles in spirals at branch buds
-        Spruce (Picea): sharp needles. Cones hang down
-        Fir (Abies): “furry” flat needles. Cones points up
-        Doug fir (Tsuedotsuga): cones hang down, with “mouse tails” between scales
-        Hemlock (Tsuga): short, flat needles attached by petiole

Fagaceae (Beech family)
K: 4-6 sepals
C: 0
A: 4-40 stamen (on staminate fls)
G: inferior ovary. 3 (sometimes 6) united carpels, and styles
Lvs: simple, alternate, toothed/ lobed
Ft: acorn-like nut
Ex: Castanea, Quercus

Betulaceae (Birch family)
Monoecious, with catkins.
-        Staminate fls:
K: 0-4 sepals
C: 0
A: 2-20 stamen
-        Pistillate fls:
K/ C: 0
G: inferior. 2 united carpels/ styles
Lvs: simple, toothed, alternate, pinnately veined
ft: nut or winged seed
Ex: Betula, Alnus

Salicaceae (Willow family)
Dioecious, with catkins
-        Staminate fls:
A: 2+ stamen
-        Pistillate fls:
G: superior. 2-4 united carpels/ stigmas
Ft: capsule
Lvs: simple, alternate
Ex: Salix, Populus