Perry's Perennial Pages, Perennial Arcade Quiz

Plant Families

  Plants are grouped into families, based on certain common characteristics.  Know these 8 major families, and you have a good start on the identification of over 45,000 species of plants.  A great resource to do just this is Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel.  Match the family with trait.  answers follow.

1. aster a. composite of many small flowers in disk-like flowerhead, e.g. sunflower
2. parsley b. compound umbel flowers (umbrella-like), usually hollow flower stalks; e.g. Queen Anne's Lace
3. mint c. 4 petals and 6 stamens-- 4 tall, 2 short; often elongate seed pods in radial pattern around the stalk; e.g. Dame's rocket
4. mustard d. square stalks, opposite leaves, usually aromatic leaves, e.g beebalm
5. pea e. monocots, flower parts in threes, sepals and petals usually identical; e.g. lily
6. grass f. 5 petals form a banner, wings, and keel; pea-like pods; often pinnate leaves; e.g. false indigo
7. lily g. 5 separate petals, distinct numerous stamens, often with oval serrated alternate leaves; e.g. avens
8. rose h. monocot, wind-pollinated so no showy petals and sepals; knee-like nodes on hollow flower stems; e.g switchgrass



1. a

2. b

3. d

4. c

5. f

6. h

7. e

8. g

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