====THE RESULTS ARE IN !!===
We asked you to tell us what interests you have in botany.
This is a very diverse group of answers. Here is what you said you wanted
to learn more about:
the course as a requisite or elective...18
We can recommend books and techniques that can help you
learn more about these things within the BOTN 301 context.
get out of this course depends on how much you are willing to put in.
We'll be glad to help you however we can.
Most books mentioned on this page are ones we have. We
can also recommend others the library might have. Just ask your TA or Monique.
If you find a link in this document that is not working, please let us
TAKING THE COURSE AS A REQUISITE
Believe us, we know what it's like to take required courses,
or to have to choose an elective from a small list of classes. Still,
we hope that you find something in the course that interests you. Keep
your ears and eyes open. Chances are, we'll say something that piques
your curiosity. Plants are pretty nifty, after all. Ask
questions, ask for references, talk to your teachers, and have a look at
some of the links on this site. There is a lot of cool botany on
While the focus of this course is wild plants, learning
about plant families will help you, because wild and cultivated members
of a family are similar in structure and often in preference for growing
conditions. Monique has a degree in Floriculture, so you can ask her lots
Books --We have Hortus III and Tropica.
In the lab, we have Botany for Gardeners. Monique also has a ton
of books and magazines on gardening, ornamentals, veggies, roses, landscape
design, etc. Just mention what you want, and she'll recommend something...
We also have information about growing many natives in the landscape.
In the Field--Practice sight-identification of
families. This will help you learn to recognize plants in gardens, nurseries,
etc. Watch for native plants that might make good landscape plants.
Plant Collection--Cultivated plants are not allowed,
but you might want to make a collection of wild relatives of garden
plants or a collection of plants you would want in a landscape.
In Lecture and Lab--Again, learn the families.
Each time in lab, you will find a marked nursery catalog featuring cultivated
members of the families we study. We will also bring in cultivated plants
to show family features. On field
trips, we'll talk about which native plants can be adapted for home
Garden-related Web sites--Monique has a huuuuuge
bookmark list for horticulture topics. Some are general references and
some pertain to specific plants or families: A sampling of what's available
(no endorsements implied):
This course will introduce you to various teaching tools--dissection
work, field trips, lectures, videos, slides, plant collection, and the
Internet. You will also try several types of exams and quizzes. The teaching
techniques we use on you this semester may help you define what
sort of teaching style you want to adopt.
Books--One of the best all-around books is Imes'
Botanist, which is available for you to read in lab. It's out of print,
but looking on line will probably turn up a copy.
Plant Collection-- If you would like to keep your
plant collection to start your own teaching collection, you are certainly
welcome to do so. You might want to focus on large, common families that
will be present wherever you end up teaching.
There are lots of good teaching websites out there. We
like to think our Lab
Tutorials and our on-line Lecture
Notes are good examples.
Books--One of the best for edible natives of Texas
is Tull's A Practical Guide to Edible and Useful Plants. She has
also published Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest:
A Practical Guide, which we don't yet have but which is readily available.
We do have Kindscher's
Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie and the
Medves' Edible Wild Plants of Pennsylvania. We have Native American
Ethnobotany, World Economic Plants, and the huge two-volume Cambridge
World History of Food. In addition, many keys and manuals have
information about edibility listed for each plant. You may also want to
look at the
AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants to learn
what not to eat. We can also recommend lots of good vegetarian
(and other) cookbooks.
In the Field--Be on the lookout for edible plants.
Please eat only what you KNOW is safe and can positively identify.
Don't try too many new things at once. If something is rare, don't harvest
too much. Keep notes!!!
Plant Collection--It would be a challenge to make
a collection of only edible plants, but it could be done and probably would
be fun. Or, you might want to concentrate on learning if any of the plants
you collect are edible. You could also focus on wild relatives of
domesticated edible plants you like.
In Lecture and Lab--In lecture, much will be made
of the major food families. On the lab field
trips, we will look at (and try!) some of the local wild edibles. Ask
lots of questions--and get Monique's Rumex
Other Links, including such odd things as peppers
and trail mix... (no endorsements implied)
Boy, are you in luck! This is the main thing we deal with--What
is that plant? How can I tell it from all the others? Where else does it
grow? The whole lab and lecture are geared toward giving an understanding
of the major families and their distinguishing features. Just by staying
awake in class, you should learn plenty. We will also talk about the origins
and distributions of plants--which ones are cosmopolitan, which strictly
New World, which Old World, etc.
Books--We have manuals and floras that
cover the whole state and many parts of the U.S. These will help you identify
plants. We also have picture books which will give you an idea of
what's out there in a non-scientific way. If it's classical taxonomy and
learning how to identify plants you want, we have good books on those,
too. Just tell Monique what you want, and she can steer you in the right
In the Field--Practice sight-identification of
major families and genera. Quiz yourself and your friends. Try to botanize
in as many different places as possible. Make notes, take pictures, draw.
Bring back unknowns to identify.
Plant Collection--You can either collect the unknown
plants you want to identify or put together a collection of plants that
you have learned to identify. Either way, the more you collect and key,
the better you will be at keying. Eventually, you will develop a feel for
plants that helps as much as technical knowledge.
In Lab --Really study and learn the key characters
for families and genera. Practice with keys. Work on getting that "feel"
for what's what. Make good use of the lab space and books available.
Taxonomy-related Web sites:
Dr. Manhart has included some information on medicinal
plants in his lectures, and there is some in your text. In addition:
Books--Check out the AMA Handbook of Poisonous
and Injurious Plants. Many plant poisons are also medicines. Mabberley's
Book has lots of notes about medicinal uses. Many floras and manuals
mention medicinal uses for plants. Tull's A Practical Guide to Edible
and Useful Plants has good info. We have Kindscher's
Plants of the Prairie, which focuses on Native American uses of prairie
plants. We have also acquired Native American Ethnobotany. There
is lots of information out there; you will have to examine it carefully
as not all of it is trustworthy.
In the Field--Look for plants that you know have
medicinal value. Learn which ones grow where. But please, DON'T dabble
in herbal remedies unless you really know what you're doing...
Plant Collection--You might want to put together
a collection of native medicinal or aromatic plants, or else focus on discovering
what uses there might be for whatever plants you collect.
In Lab and Lecture--Make an effort to learn about
and learn to recognize the families that tend to have medicinal properties.
Web sites related to Plant Medicines (No endorsements
or recommendations implied!)
An interesting Thesis
on folk medicine among native peoples in a remote Oaxacan village.
An on-line Herbal
We will definitely talk about ecology and conservation
in this class!
Books--A number of the books listed under "Wildlife"
(below) might be of interest. If it is books about the floras of different
regions you are interested in, just let us know what part of the country
(or world!) you're interested in and we'll point you in the right direction.
In the Field--Learn to look at where you
are: what type of ecosystem, what type of land use, etc. In the local environment,
you can explore the Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie regimes. You
may also find bogs, outcrops, and agricultural areas.
Plant Collection--You might want to collect from
one type of habitat that interests you most, or you might want to get plants
from as many different ecosystems as possible. If you decided to collect
out of state, let us know as soon as possible so we can start tracking
down the best flora for you to use for identification.
In Lecture and Lab--Keep your ears perked up,
because we will be talking about ecology and floras. When we take
the field trip,
we'll have a chance to see succession first hand and to explore several
Ecology- and Flora-related Web Sites
GENERAL/PLANTS AND PEOPLE
You are going to learn so much general stuff and soooo
much plant trivia this semester that you will be amazed. Have a look at
Mabberley's The Plant Book--there is something fun on every page.
Also try talking to Monique. She is a veritable fountain of bizarre and
esoteric information... If we say something this semester that intrigues
you, let us know. We'll be glad to steer you in a direction to find out
what you need to know. Have a look at the other topics discussed here.
You might also look into taking Botany
328--Plants and People, a course devoted to food, medicine, drug, dye,
fiber, and fuel plants. In the meantime, there's a lot of general
fun stuff at Wayne's
Books--We have two books specifically about wildlife
habitats, the Eastern and Western volumes of
Field Guide to Wildlife
Habitats by Benyus. Try Imes' The Practical Botanist for an
overview of plants in the environment and different types of habitats.
In addition, many of the keys and manuals have notes about each plant's
usefulness to wildlife. For example, Elias' The Complete Trees of North
America goes into great detail, Correll & Johnston's
of the Vascular Plants of Texas often has info, and Monique's black
key also includes wildlife food uses. In addition, we have several general
books on ecology and plant habitats.
In the Field--Pay attention to what animals eat
and where they live. Collect and identify samples of plants that they use.
Visit and study the habitats and ecosystems that interest you most. Be
curious. Take notes, draw, collect, take photos. You may want to look into
Outdoor Rec trips or go somewhere neat to collect. Whenever possible, go
out in the field with someone who knows the environment and ask lots of
Plant Collection--You might want to make your
collection from just a few locations that represent ecosystems you want
to know more about. Conversely, you might want to make it as broadly-based
as possible. Either way, look at what's around you when you're out
collecting. If you are interested in wildlife, you can try 1) collecting
plants that you know are used by wildlife and 2) reading to determine if
other plants you collect have uses you didn't know about.
In Lab and Lecture--Listen. Little bits about
animal ecology find their way into lecture. On field
trips, we'll talk a lot about important different plant communities
and ecosystems. Learn about the major families and what their presence
tells you about a habitat or community. When we go on field trips, we will
mention some plants that animals eat (such as grapes, acorns, hawthorn
fruits, etc.), and we will talk about what animals can be found locally.
Websites Related To Wildlife:
Books--We have North American Range Plants,
a good guide to some of the more important plants. Some of the keys, such
as the Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas and Grasses of
Texas have information about livestock uses for each plant. One of
our weed books goes into detail about which plants are harmful or useful
for stock and which plants will take over and ruin a good pasture or cropland.
We also have an interesting book on the lost or little-grown grain crops
of Africa, many of which would be suitable for Texas.
In the Field--Watch what stock eat, and what they
avoid. Make notes, draw, take pictures. Practice sight-identifying important
range plant families such as grasses and legumes. Observe crop-weed interactions
in fields. Bring unknowns back to the lab to key them.
Plant Collection--You might want to make a collection
of just range plants--useful or harmful. You could focus on wild relatives
of cultivated crop plants such as cotton, alfalfa, or sorghum. Collect
plants that interest you.
In Lecture and Lab-Pay special attention to important
grazing and crop plant families like grasses and legumes. On the field
trip, we will see and talk about what happens to overgrazed pastures
and how ungrazed pastures go back to prairie and forest.
Web sites related to Livestock and Range Plants
This is our most favorite thing! The study of what's
out there is called floristics. Dr. Manhart and Monique both have
interests in the local flora.
Books--We have a good collection of books on Texas
plants--some are picture books and some are technical keys. We either have
or can recommend some good regional floras. For example, Wildflowers
of the Texas Hill Country by Marshall Enquist is a good reference.
Have a look in the lab book cabinet. Monique has lots of info on growing
wildflowers and using native plants in the landscape.
In the Field--Practice identifying what you see.
Take notes, draw, take pictures, bring things in to identify. Visit as
many different habitats as possible and learn what's in them.
Plant Collection--Whatever you collect and key
will teach you something. There is
so much out there that you might
want to focus on the plants that interest you most.
In Lecture and Lab--Stay awake! You can learn
a lot just from the examples. Many of our lecture examples and quite a
lot of our lab dissection materials are native plants. Key quizzes will
be fresh, local material--usually wild. The field trips will be all about
local wildflowers and plants. This is where the knowledge can really add
Web sites related to Native Plants
What's a herbarium? It's like a library, except
with plants instead of books. We may not discuss herbarium operations too
much in lecture, but in lab you will learn the right way to prepare herbarium
specimens, and how to handle and store them. You will become familiar
with some of the references herbarium botanists use to identify plants.
If you would like actual herbarium experience, just speak to Monique.
She is always looking for volunteer help!
Websites related to Herbaria
The Biology Department Herbarium at Texas A&M
S. M. Tracy Herbarium at Texas A&M
The Plant Resources Center
at U. T. Austin
for institutions, locations, or people
Botanical Garden's Herbarium Handbook
Hmm. We won't spend too much time on physiology
this semester--that is a whole seperate course. We will, though,
talk about pollination, fertilization, plant chemistry, genetics, response
to environmental stimuli, etc. These are all physiology- related.
You can use a web search engine such as AltaVista
search for particular topics.
Of necessity, most of what we'll be pulling in as examples
this semester will be terrestrial plants. They are easier to walk
out and get and they greatly outnumber marine species. Still, you
are welcome to study and collect marine angiosperms and to use them in
your collection. Monique can give you some tips about pressing them.
Books--We have two good sets of books
on aquatic and wetland plants (including coastal)--one set for the Southeast,
and one for the Southwest. Both have good illustrations. We also have the
of the TX Coastal Bend and Plants of Southernmost TX, both of
which are useful. Correll and Johnston does cover the coast. We have books
on tidal marsh plants. We have access to some government publications,
Links related to Marine Plants
Plants and Algae
Restoring American Estuaries
Live from the Estuary
in British Columbia
We will get to the family that encompasses tulips, the
Liliaceae, near the end of the semester. In the meantime, you can
look at these links.
Holland, Michigan's Tulip Time Festival
McClure and Zimmerman--bulb retailers
Some books on tulips
As for how to make them live longer, we're not sure.
They usually do not repeat bloom in Texas--they don't get enough cold,
the summers are too hot, and there are too many pests and diseases.
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Last updated by Monique Dubrule Reed on August