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 Texts

  • 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 Wolf Rock
Fri June 6 Plant nomenclature and taxonomy Scientific sketching TBD
Week 2
Mon June 9 Natural History collections Tour UConn Herbarium TBD
Wed June 11 Phylogenetics and Systematics Moss & Fern identification Webster Fern Garden, Pink Ravine
Fri June 13 Green plant evolution Gymnosperm identification Mansfield Hollow S.P. Room available for review after class
Week 3
Mon June 16 MIDTERM EXAM Brassicaceae / Ranunculaceae / Rosaceae / Fabaceae Boston Hollow
Wed June 18 Angiosperm evolution Apiaceae / Asteraceae / Lamiaceae / Plantaginaceae TBD
Fri June 20 New England habitats Scrophulariaceae / Droseraceae / Sarraceniaceae / Ericaceae Willington Bog
Week 4
Mon June 23 Graminoid (grass / sedge / rush) identification Cyperaceae / Juncaceae / Poaceae TBD grassland
Wed June 25 Plant ecology Ecological techniques Fenton River
Fri June 27 Beach ecosystems (in van) Hammonassett State Park
Week 5
Mon June 30 Invasive species and species of conservation concern Apiaceae / Asteraceae / Fabaceae TBD Room available for review after class
Wed July 2 FINAL EXAM Specimen mounting