Plant Classification Basics The Great War Project
Botany vs. Horticulture • Botany: the scientific study of plants, including their physiology, structure, genetics, ecology, distribution, classification, and economic importance. • Horticulture: the art or practice of garden cultivation and management.
Classification • Human instinct to classify • We classify everything • Books, vehicles, furniture, people • Helps manage information • Efficient communication • Practical concerns • Poisonous, dangerous, edible, etc.
Types of classifications • Artificial classifications • Designed for usefulness • Flower colour, growth habit, use, etc • Natural (phylogenetic) classification • Based on genetic (evolutionary) relationship
Genus, species Caltha palustris Anemone blanda Lilium formosanum Pulsatilla alpina
Summary: Characteristicsused in Plant Classification • Early systematics restricted to morphology • Later classification was based on reproduction (flowers) and basic physiology • Modern-times strong reliance on genetics • Problem: Convergent Evolution
Used today: Phylogenetic classification • Phylogenetic classification levels start off broad but become more specific as plant characteristics become more similar (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) • Similarities are the result of genetic relatedness not environmental (convergent) evolution
MUN Botanical Garden For more information, please contact: Todd Boland, Research HorticulturistMUN Botanical GardenMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’s, NL, A1C 5S7Email: firstname.lastname@example.org