Plants & Human Affairs - Sample Exam
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;



   "And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn and two blades of grass grow upon a spot where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country than a whole race of politicians put together."


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


Directions:  Do yourself an essential service and write your name on the test booklet.  Answer the questions directly in the test booklet.  Please sign the Honor Pledge at the end of the exam - assuming of course that you have complied with its terms (I won't grade your exam unless it is signed).  Questions are worth one point unless otherwise indicated.  Note - in some cases  you have a choice of questions to answer.  Good luck and may the Force be with you!

Finish-the-Sentence Question:  Complete the following sentences, just as a politician completes an election campaign.  Answer ANY 12 of 15

1.  Retting is�.. 
2.  Pharmacognosy is�..
3.  A herbarium is important because�.
4.  Many plant products have been replaced by synthetics because....
5.  Milk sickness is....
6.  We should thank a plant each time we inhale because...
7.  According to the Doctrine of Signatures�.
8.  An autotroph is�.
9.  A eukaryotic cell is one that�.
10. St. John's wort is used to treat�.
11.  The difference between a spore and a seed is�.
12.  The vascular cambium is�.
13.  A bud is�.
14. Ethnobotany is�..
15.  A secondary metabolite is�.

Circle-the-Term Question
:  Consider an oak or maple tree.  Circle all of the following terms that apply to oak (and maple) trees?

annual   biennial    deciduous     evergreen     forb    perennial

Mapping Question:  Match each of the following locations with the numbered location on the map.  Note ‑ there are more numbers than will be used.  Some numbers may be used more than once.

map here with countries numbered (not inserted)

_____   Afghanistan
______ China
______ Great Britain (England, Scotland)
______ India
______ Madagascar
______ Namibia
______ New Guinea
______ New Zealand
______ Republic of Ireland
______ South Africa


Columbus True/False:  Answer the following True (T) or False (F).  Feel free to qualify your answer with a statement.

______ Sargassum is a species of algae that floats
______ Sargassum grows along the coast of Hispaniola
______ Migratory birds helped Columbus find land
______ Columbus found many spices in Hispaniola that he had expected
______ Columbus landed in North America on his first voyage
______ Black pepper and White pepper are prepared from different plants
______ Columbus was a good botanist.
______ It was well know during the time of Columbus that the earth is round.

Multiple Choice Question
:  Circle the single best answer.

1.  When Columbus thought he had found Aloe vera (barbadensis) he was happy because this plant can be used:

a.  as a laxative to purge the body
b.  to cure malaria
c.  to kill mosquitos
d.  to stimulate the heart
e.  to reduce itching from poison ivy

A Pictorial Question:  Use the diagram to answer the following questions. 

 I. Identify the following parts of the plant on the diagram (diagram of a plant with structures number, 1 - 24, diagram not inserted):   

1.       _________________________

2.       _________________________

3.       _________________________

4.       _________________________

5.       _________________________

6.       _________________________

7.       _________________________

8.       _________________________

9.       _________________________

10.   _________________________

11.   _________________________

12.   _________________________

13.   _________________________

14.   _________________________

15.   _________________________

16.   _________________________

17.   _________________________

18.  Two functions of structure 24 are:

19. The pollen is produced in structure number ______.

20. The structure that develops into the fruit is number ______.

21.  The egg is located in structure number ______.

22.  The structure that produces a branch is number ______.

23.  The primary function of structure number 1 is:

Origins Question
:  For each of the following plants, indicate if it is native to the New World (N) or Old World (O).

_____ black pepper
_____ cinnamon
_____ cocoa
_____ coffee
_____ green (capsicum) pepper


_____ maize
_____ potato
_____ sunflower
_____ tobacco
_____ wheat


 Hemp QuestionFor each of the following, circle the one that is characteristic of marijuana

  1. biennial                                     perennial

  2. temperate                                 tropical

  3. native to the Old World              native to the New World

  4. very variable                             little variation between individuals                        

  5. dioecious                                  monoecious

Biodynamic Plant Matching Question:  Match each of the following with the appropriate plant.  Note: some may be used more than once, others not at all.  

a)      Aloe vera

b)      Black snakeroot  

c)      Calabar bean  

d)   Coca  

e)      Ebena snuff  


f)   Fever bark Tree     

g)      Foxglove

h)       Ginseng    

i)      Marijuana                

j)      Opium poppy   


k        Peyote                   

l)        Rosy periwinkle

m)      Tobacco    

n)        Willow

o)    Ginkgo


      1.      _____ cactus  
       _____ cocaine  
       _____ quinine  
       _____ digitalis  
       _____ reserpine  
       _____ mescaline  
       _____ vincristine  
       _____ cannabinoids  
       _____ nicotine  
   _____ salicylic acid  
11. _____  important Chinese medicinal herb
   _____ this plant is used to treat leukemia and lymphoma  
   _____ Indian remedy used to treat hypertension (& "lunacy")  
   _____ used to treat heart disorders  
   _____ hops is a close relative of this plant  
   _____ sacrament of the North American Church  
   _____ one of its chemical components is an important prescription drug to treat coughs  
   _____ leaves chewed with lime by natives to relieve fatigue and hunger  
   _____ tonic water (as in gin and tonic) gets its flavor from this plant  
   _____,  ______ medicine is derived from the bark (2 responses required)  
   _____  aspirin is derived from chemicals in this plant  
   _____  The word "assassin" is derived from the use of this plant  
22. _____,  _____  native to the Andes (2 responses required)  
   _____  used to treat burns, speed wound healing  
24. _____  used to treat malaria  
25. _____  treatment for memory loss, senility  
  _____  strongly addictive  
27. _____  hallucinogenic  
28. _____ Trial by Ordeal   

Illuminating Question:  Let's shed some light on this situation.  For each of the following, provide the evolutionary rationale (significance, importance) for the indicated feature.

1.       Dark grown plants are (taller/shorter - circle one) than plants grown in the light because�.

2.       Dark grown plants have (larger/smaller - circle one) stems than light grown plants because�

3.       Dark grown plants have a hook at the tip because�..  

4.       Dark grown plants are yellow, not green because�.  

Botanist Matching Question
:  Match each of the following with the appropriate individual.

a.  Gerard
b.  Linnaeus
c.  Mark Plotkin
d.  Richard Evans Schultes
e.  William Withering

_____ identified foxglove as a treatment for dropsy
_____ developed the current system of naming plants; 1700's; Swedish
_____ spent a considerable amount of time in the tropics; subject of video

Fast Plant Questions
:  In lab we studied the pods of a Fast plant.  We observed that the pods had variable numbers of seeds ranging from 4 to 10 seeds.  Assume that a pod has 10 seeds and then answer the following questions:

1.       Do all of the seeds in this pod have the same mother?  Explain.  

       Do all of the seeds in the pod have the same father?  Explain.  

       The pod with 10 seeds developed from _____ flower(s), _____ ovary(s),  _____ ovule(s),  _____ egg(s), 
                     _____ sperms, and _____ pollen grain.

Short Answer Questions
:  Using complete sentences that would leave even a politician speechless, answer the following. Answer 5 of 6

1.  Hemp is a multi-purpose crop.  Describe three major uses of this plant.  

2.  Compare and contrast the terms poisonous, hallucinogenic and poisonous.  Explain why these terms are �relative�.  

3.  Where does growth occur in a plant?  

4.  Why has there been a prejudice against traditional medicines?  

5.  Describe the process by which chocolate is prepared from cocoa pods.

6. To a sailor, algae in the water meant that there were rocks nearby or land was ahead.  Explain how Sargassum tricked Columbus.  That is, why didn't the observation of Sargassum mean either?

onger Answer Question
.  We discussed a model of drug discovery that included five major steps � folk knowledge, scientific discovery, botanical exploration, physiological exploration, chemical exploration.  Select any plant that we've studied, such as foxglove or Fever bark tree, and discuss how it relates to this model.  

Pledge:  I have neither given nor received help when taking this exam.

          signature  _________________________  date ________

Congratulations, you made it!! You've completed your first Plants & Human Affairs exam!

I consider an exam to be an athletic event for the mind.  Just like an athlete preparing for an event, I provide an opportunity for you to warm up and cool down.  At the beginning of the exam there is a quote and some other goofy stuff to �warm up on�.  To cool your brain off after he exam, I have a included some additional goofy questions at the end of the exam.  You can earn points for the bonus questions, the others are for fun only.  I will respond to any comments.

Bonus Question:  Earn one bonus point for each correct response.  No points are deducted for incorrect responses.

What was your favorite topic that we covered so far?


What is allelopathy?

Genius Question:  Automatic "A" on the test and Ph.D degree to the university of your choice.  No partial credit.

Name all the plants in the US Pharmacopoeia.  Give scientific names, family name, and all medical uses.  Spelling counts.

Dumb Question:  my specialty!
            Can you shoot straight with a pistil?
            How far can you petal a bicycle?

Obvious Answer Question:  This is toughie, but I know you can do it.  Win a sticker!   Name the best class at CSB/SJU _____________________ (Hint check page 1, upper left hand corner.)


| Top | PHA Home | SGS Home |

Last updated:  08/25/2008 � Copyright  by SG Saupe