These ferns were picked for the cover as they are three of my favorite ferns found in my backyard and local forests in British Columbia.
Meet some of the largest flowering plant families in the world and learn some of their ‘key’ characteristics that will help you begin to identify your plant specimen.
"This diverse family ranges from trees to shrubs to herbaceous plants. Their flowers always have more than 10 stamens (also true of the buttercup family) and typically five petals."
"The flower heads of the sunflower family are actually a collection of flowers, or florets. Their seed-like fruits are knowns as achenes, and the white fluffy parts of the dandelions we love so much for making wishes are really for disersing seed by wind and are known as the pappus."
"This family has umbrella-shaped inflorescenes (a collection of flowers). You will also need flowers and mature fruits known as schizocarps, which split into two mericarps."
"This family has four-petalled flowers that look like an 'X'. If seed pods are long, they are known as siliques, and if they are short they are known as silicles."
"This is one of the most economically important plant families in the world. Specialized terminology describes the structures that surround the reproductive parts - the pistils (female) and stamens (male)."
Key Features of Distinct Plant Groups
"The saying goes "Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow to the ground (except at the nodes)".
Sedge (Cyperaceae) & Rush (Juncaceae)
"When you collect either of these groups, you need to make sure to collect them in full flower. You will also want to dig some of the root systems to show if they have rhizomes (horizonal underground stems)."
Sedge (Cyperaceae) &
"When you collect either of these groups, you need to make sure to collect them in full flower. You will also want to dig some of the root systems to show if they have rhizomes."
"Collect a typically shaped branch with their needles or scale-like leaves and try to get both the conspicuous mature female cones and more inconspicuous male cones."
"Oh, I just love collecting willows… But this group is tough to identify, and you must ensure you collect mature flowering catkins."