====THE RESULTS ARE IN !!===
We asked you to tell us what interests you have in botany,
and we got a very diverse group of answers back. Here is what you said
you wanted to learn more about:
in General/ Giving/Receiving Flowers....9
Plants/Health Care (People and Pets)..1
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
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):
FLOWERS IN GENERAL/ GIVING/RECEIVING
A few gentlemen said they use flowers to get out of the
doghouse with their girfriends. A *lot* of the ladies said they liked
to receive flowers. Gents, are you listening?
In Lecture and Lab--We really won't talk
too much about cut flowers and floral arrangements in this course, but
we will go over major plant families that common florist's flowers come
from--Caryophyllaceae, Rosaceae, etc. If you keep your eyes open,
you will learn about your favorites.
In the Field--Look for plants that have cut-flower
potential. Wouldn't some of the native grasses be nice? In
the fall, look for the ornamental berries of holly, snail-seed, and beauty-berry.
Plant Collection--You could collect only things
you think would make good arrangements. One for the press, one to
key from, one for the vase!
Websites Related to Cut Flowers (no
to Make Cut Flowers Last
How to Preserve Leaves and Flowers with Glycerine
GENERAL/PLANT GROWTH/ TRIVIA
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. You can find strange and wondrous things
at Wayne's Word,
For specific information on plant growth, see the lecture
notes pages on Vegetative
TREES AND SHADE
We like trees, too. In fact, one of the teaching staff
(we won't say who) wanted to be a tree when s/he was little because, "trees
are nicer than people." Shade, in Texas, is a delightful and precious
with Remarkable Trees is a look at large, memorable trees.
Common Reader has several other good books on the subject. The August
1997 issue of Smithsonian had a great article on treehouses.
We do have several illustrated guides to the trees of North America, including
the out-of-print Complete Trees of North America by Elias, which
includes good info on wood properties and uses. We have an atlas
of tree species, which shows range information for important hardwoods
and gymnosperms. Then there's the Woody Plant Seed Manual,
full of seed yield, germination, and production figures for a number of
In Lecture and Lab--You will meet a lot of trees
in the class, learn about their families, their uses, and their ecology.
On the Field
Trip, you will get to see the local post oak savannah and woods in
several stages of succession.
Plant Collection–You may certainly collect
trees. Just remember that handbooks and field guides are *not* keys
and should not be used for full identification. Also, this is not
a leaf collection as you may have made in high school or for a dendro course.
Twig and flower or fruit are necessary.
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:
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:
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)
ECOLOGY/ ENVIRONMENT/ HABITAT
We will definitely talk about ecology in this class
Books--A number of the books listed under "Wildlife"
(above) might be of interest. If it is books about particular plants
or communities you are interested in, just let us know, and we'll point
you in the right direction.
In the Field--Learn to look at where you
are. In the local environment, you can explore the Post Oak Savannah
and Blackland Prairie regimes. You may also find bogs, outcrops, and agricultural
areas. What plants make up the communities? What are the pollinators
and herbivores? How does the soil affect the plants?
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.
In Lecture and Lab--Keep your ears perked up,
because we will be talking about ecology. When we take the field
trip, we'll have a chance to explore several distinct ecosystems.
Ecology- and Pollination-related Web Sites
OUTDOORSY/ OUTDOOR SPORTS
We all like to go romping in the woods, and we know many
of you like hiking, fishing, and hunting. Have a look at the information
under "Trees," above for some things you might be
Also, if you spend a lot of time hiking, camping, or otherwise
traipsing around in the underbrush, you will want to be able to recognize
Nettle, and Bull
This is our most favorite thing! The study of what's
out there is called floristics. The teaching staff all 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
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.
Come by the herbarium to read a good Smithsonian article on intensive
farming. 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
Books--Some keys, such as the Manual of the
Vascular Plants of Texas and Grasses of Texas have information
about agricultural uses for each plant, and quite a few non-native crop
plants have become fully naturalized members of our flora. Come by
the herbarium to read a good Smithsonian article on intensive farming.
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--Practice sight-identifying important
crop plant families such as grasses and legumes. Observe crop-weed interactions
in fields. Bring unknowns back to the lab to key them. See
how former cropland (the local area was once all under cotton) reverts
back to wild vegetation.
Plant Collection--You might want to make a collection
of just relatives of crop plants, or perhaps weed pests of crop plants.
In Lecture and Lab-Pay special attention to important
crop plant families like grasses and legumes.
Web sites related to Agriculture and Farming
Harvest--Sustainable and eco-Agriculture worldwide
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, and so does her newer book that's
specifically for Texas and the Southwest. We have Kindscher's
Wild 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. Also, check the bulletin
board across from the lab. Interesting articles about plants get
put there, and there is one up now about an exciting new anti-tumor drug
derived from plants.
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 won't be talking too much about cytogenetics or biotechnology
in lab this semester, but Dr. Manhart will probably talk about genetically
engineered plants in lecture. You will find that most of the teaching
staff has pretty definite viewpoints on these things. We'd all like
more nutritious, more disease-resistant crops, not to mention veggies that
do wonderful things like produce insulin for diabetics. But do we
want to eat plants engineered to produce pesticides, antibiotics, or hormones?
Do you want your sorghum to be able to pass genes to Johnsongrass?
Should "killer" genes be used so that farmers cannot save seed to plant?
Here are a few websites. A good web search will turn up hundreds
more, broth pro and con.
of the weird plants
pro-biotech Irish site
on-line course about biotechnology
Our very own Image
Gallery has some of the best plant images around. Many of them
were taken by Dr. Manhart or by Robert Corbett, one of the TA's for this
course. Both are avid photographers and are glad to share tips and
tricks. Dr. Manhart occasionally teaches a seminar on plant photography;
you can ask him when he will teach it next.
Books--Most of our library deals with Texas plants,
but we can certainly recommend books about tropical plants. Tropica
is a huge book full of pictures of exotics. We also have a book full of
unusual fruit. We can certainly steer you to other sources on tropical
and rainforest plants.
In Lab and Lecture--We will be studying families
that have members in the tropics. What you learn in class will help you
understand tropical plants to some extent.
The Plant Collection--You might want to collect
plants from families that have many tropical members. If you are lucky
enough to get to collect in the tropics, be sure to let us know ahead of
time so that we can help you dig up the references you'll need.
Web sites related to Tropical Botany
Books-- We have some good references on
plants useful for dyes. There's the monumental
Ethnobotany and volume 1 of The Useful Wild Plants of Texas (etc.).
Then there is the great work World Economic Plants. Delena
Tull's A Practical Guide to Edible and Useful Plants has good info,
and so does her newer book that's specifically for Texas and the Southwest.
We can also dig up works on fiber plants, weaving, and dyeing for you.
In the Field--Really examine the plants you see.
Which could be used for dyes?
Plant Collection--You could focus your collection
on potential dye plants or test all of your samples to see if they make
Web sites related to plant dyes or pigments
Plants for a Future-- Database
Our Botany 328 Plants and People notes on Dyes
Flower Pounding--see some great results on
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Last updated by Monique Dubrule Reed on September