Plants & Human Affairs - Introduction
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Post Lab Assignment:  Conifer Lab

I. Fascicles.
 The needles of pines occur in bundles called fascicles. Record the number of needles per fascicle for each of the following:

  Jack pine   Norway or red pine
  Ponderosa pine   White pine
  Austrian pine   Scotch pine

II. Leaf Types in Pine. Pines have two types of leaves. The larger, familiar acicular (needle-like) leaves that occur in fascicles is one type. The other type is smaller and scale-like and found directly on the stem. Sketch in the box below the two types of leaves from a shoot of White pine (Pinus strobus).


Needle-like leaves (acicular)


III. Leaf Types in Arborvitae
Arborvitaes have paired scale leaves.  Sketch two pairs in the box below.


Scale leaves of Arborvitae

IV. Leaf Types in Juniper. Junipers can have a mixture of scale-like leaves and awl-shaped leaves.  Sketch one of each in the box below.


Scale-leaves of Juniper

Awl-shaped leaves of Juniper

V.  Species Comparisons
(complete the following table)

Comparison Table for some Minnesota Conifers
Character Balsam Fir Douglas-fir Tamarack Spruce Pine Ginkgo Yew Juniper
Habit (evergreen, deciduous) . . . . . . . .
Leaf arr. (alternate, opposite, whorled, fascicled)                
Leaf shape (flat, 4-angled) . . . . . . . ..
Cone persistence (disintegrate, persistent)                
Cone type (woody, berry-like) . . . . . . . .
Other unique features                

VI. Identification of Common Gymnosperms
Using the dichotomous key provided in lab, identify the conifers)


VII. Key to the Conifers
:      In the space below, write a dichotomous key to any 5 conifers.






VIII.  Quiz Plants: (the following plants are "fair game" on the identification quiz.  To help your study, sample of the specimens will be available in the lab.  In addition, you may to prepare your own study sheet by gluing to herbarium paper small specimens from each conifer)

  Ginkgo   Scot's pine
  Tamarack   Colorado blue spruce
  Balsam fir   Norway spruce

White spruce


Jack pine




Ponderosa pine




White pine

  Douglas fir


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Last updated:  07/29/2005 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe