The Hamamelidae

Note: Family study exercises are designed to acquaint you with the major characters of some important flowering plant families. Follow the guidelines on your instruction sheets. Answer questions and diagram structures ON THE SHEETS and save them to study from. Diagrams, in addition to those requested in the lab instructions, will be useful. For exams, you will be expected to be able to identify structures present in preserved or fresh floral material. Herbarium specimens will be on display during each laboratory period. You should be able to identify these to genus, family, and subclass by recognizing the characters we discuss.  For a copy of the overhead used in lab, click here.

This group of taxa, once called the "amentiferae" (Englerian system), is characterized by floral adaptations associated with ANEMOPHILY (wind-pollination). Thus, the flowers are small, apetalous, unisexual (imperfect) and often arranged in catkins.

EXAMINE catkins from Quercus, Carya, or Juglans, but since floral dissections yields little information in this group, please focus your attention on the dried specimens that are set out. These represent various taxa within the subclass.

Specimens marked with an orange dot are those for which you need to know the subclass, family, and genus for lab practical.  What characters distinguish these taxa?  Look at growth form and features of pith, leaves, inflorescences, and fruit.

Families include:

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last updated 20 July 2007 MDR