Summer Flora 2014

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EEB 4272

Summer Session I
June 2nd to July 2nd
M/W/F 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
TLS 179


Nora Mitchell (
Contact me for a permission number

Course description

New England is home to a diverse and thriving selection of plants, many of which reach their peak exuberance during the summer. Proper identification of plants and an understanding of their interactions with the environment are important facets that aid in the appreciation of our natural resources. In this course, students will:

  • Learn to recognize by sight some of the more common plant species
  • Develop a skill set for identifying unknown plant species
  • Gain experience in plant census, collection and curation techniques
  • Learn the system of classifying plant diversity and of naming plant species
  • Learn about the diversity of plant habitats in New England
  • Learn about invasive species and conservation issues in plant biology

The course focuses primarily on plant identification and classification, but students also will acquire skills that would serve them in any number of careers dealing with natural resource management.

Required equipment (all available from UConn Co-op)

  • 10x hand lens (provided for you!)
  • field notebook
  • pencils

Course Materials

  • Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by L. Newcomb, 1989.
  • Trees of Eastern and Central United States and Canada by W.M. Harlow, 1957.
  • Fern Finder by A. C. Hallowell and B. G. Hallowell, 1981.


Quizzes 20%
Field notebook 10%
Mid-term exam 25%
Final exam 25%
Plant collection/preservation project 20%

Tentative schedule

Date Lecture Lab Field Notes
Week 1
Mon., June 2 Introduction to course Reproductive features Campus walk
Wed., June 4 Plant identification using keys and other resources Vegetative features Campus walk
Fri., June 6 Plant nomenclature and taxonomy Fern terminology Wolf Rock S.P.
Week 2
Mon., June 9 Fern identification Webster Fern Garden, Pink Ravine to add/drop
Wed., June 11 Phylogenetics and Systematics Gymnosperm identification Mansfield Hollow S.P.
Fri., June 13 Moss identification TBD Room available for review after class
Week 3
Mon., June 16 MIDTERM EXAM Brassicaceae / Ranunculaceae / Rosaceae Boston Hollow
Wed., June 18 Natural History collections Tour UConn Herbarium Identification of student collection 1
Fri., June 20 MIDTERM EXAM Lamiaceae / Plantaginaceae / Scrophulariaceae UConn Forest - student collection 1
Week 4
Mon., June 23
Wed., June 25 Plant and animal interactions Goodwin S.F.
Fri., June 27 Invasive species and species of conservation concern Apiaceae / Asteraceae / Fabaceae UConn Forest - student collection 2
Week 5
Mon., June 30 Graminoid (grass / sedge / rush) identification Cyperaceae / Juncaceae / Poaceae Identification of student collection 2
Wed., July 2 FINAL EXAM Specimen mounting