|Plant Taxonomy (BIOL308) - Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.employees.csbsju.edu/ssaupe/|
A. General - You are required to make a collection of 20 plants representing a minimum of 15 different families. Each specimen should be accompanied by a typed herbarium label. The entire collection will be accompanied by a plant collection grading worksheet and a field notebook. Your collection becomes the property of the CSB/SJU Herbarium. If you want to start and/or add to your personal herbarium, collect duplicate specimens. The collections will be evaluated based on the information provided in this document. Points will be deducted from the collections turned in late.
B. Field Notebook - Your collections should be accompanied by a field notebook. In our course we will not use a standard bound notebook as is typical for most plant taxonomists (see the text or my notes about field notebooks for more details). Rather, for each plant that you collect you will be required to complete a "Field Record Form" and insert these into a three-ring binder that will serve as your "field notebook." The rationale for this approach is that the field record form will help teach you the types of data to include in your notebook by providing a template of information to record. There must be a field record for every specimen collected, whether or not the specimen is submitted in the final collection. Thus, if you collect 100 plants during the semester but turn in only 20 for grading, you will have 100 field record forms inserted into your three-ring binder. The field records should be inserted in the notebook/binder in numerical order (e.g., 1 to n).
Your notebook is worth 30 points (1 point per required form + 10 additional points for general format and including records for all specimens collected). Since your labels will be prepared from the information in your notebook, everything on the label should be in your notebook. Also note that field notes should be recorded in the field as the specimens are collected and pressed. Thus, neatness is not important nor is using the same pencil/pen. Notebook entries should look like they've been in the field.
C. Herbarium Labels
Each specimen will be accompanied by a herbarium label (see the text or my notes about field notebooks for more details). Labels must be typed using either a: (1) Typewriter - an IBM Selectric typewriter and preprinted labels are available in the Bailey Herbarium. This is probably the easiest method to prepare one or a few labels; or (2) Computer and word processing program. I will provide a label template (MS Word format) for typing labels that is convenient because you can modify the template to avoid repetitive entries (i.e., your name, county). Labels should be printed on archival paper (100% cotton, acid-free) and then NEATLY cut into uniform-sized labels (ca. 3 x 5 inches) or carefully separated if using pre-scored sheets of labels. Archival paper and pre-scored labels will be available in the Herbarium. An ink jet printer should not be used because the ink is typically not permanent. You don't need to use my template to prepare your labels. However, your labels should be formatted similar to the standard CSB/SJU labels and should be a uniform size and be cut neatly (i.e., sides parallel).
D. General Rules
E. How the collection is to be turned in for grading
F. How the collection is graded - Your collection will be graded on three criteria:
1. Identification (4 pts total)
- family = 2 points
- genus = 1 points
- specific epithet & author citation = 1 point (you must identify all specimens to species, even those that were only listed by genus on the Plants-to-Know exam)
2. Collection & Specimen Data (2 points)
- locality, habitat, date of collection, your name, and your collection number = 1 point
- other information that is not obvious by examining the specimens including: growth form (vine, tree, shrub), soil type, sun exposure, abundance, flower color, height of plant (if a tree or shrub), odor, neighboring plants = 1 point. At a minimum you must indicate the general abundance of the plant and if it is a woody plant how tall it was.
- mark county on map (if using preprinted herbarium labels)
- note: St. John's is located in Collegeville. Collegeville and St. Joseph are both in Stearns County.
3. Specimen/Label Quality (2 points)
- specimens must include flowers and/or fruits
- herbaceous specimens must have roots
- normal or typical individuals, undamaged
- thoroughly dry
- pressing shows both sides of leaves
- attractive label
- parent tree/shrub shows no damage (e.g., pruned)
- specimen fits completely within the sheet of newsprint; the newsprint fits completely within the genus folder
- typically includes more than a single specimen, especially multiple flowers and/or fruits
- labels are a uniform size and cut carefully with parallel sides
- spelling & typos count (check your binomials)
- binomial italicized or, less preferably, underlined (don't underline space)
- remove excess soil on roots
- includes packet or other parts that may have been removed to dry separately
- sheets open in folder in same direction
- woody plants must include more than a single leaf and fruit (e.g., stem, 2 or more leaves, fruit)
- do not separate fruits/flowers from specimen except if the part is very large.
- be careful when computer-generating your labels - if you make a mistake on one label and copy it to your other labels then you will loose points on all.
- don't abbreviate (e.g., CSB, St. Joe, Lake Sag)
- don't abbreviate dates (e.g., 5/7/04) - this date could refer to May 7, 2004 or May 7, 1904 or July 5, 2004, etc. Write out the month so there is no question and use the full year.
- use metric measurements
- use appropriate botanical terminology (e.g., tomentose not fuzzy)
- use accurate terminology (e.g., notched petals not "notched flowers")
08/22/2008 / � Copyright by SG