tree-logo.gif (7741 bytes) Plant Taxonomy (BIOL308)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Sample Exam Questions

(There will be a variety of different types of questions on the exams. A sampling of some of these follow.)

I. Definition Question: Using complete sentences, briefly describe or define each of the following.

II. Fill-In-The-Blanks: Write the appropriate response on the space next to the question.

__________ A flower is to an inflorescence as a(n) ______ is to calyx.
__________ Where does fertilization take place in ferns?
__________ What is the product of fertilization in ferns?

 III. Short Answers: Using complete sentences, answer the following.

  1. In what way(s) are the horsetails and spike mosses similar to ferns?
  2. What is the difference between a winged seed of a pine and a samara?
  3. What's the difference between an achene and cypsela?
  4. What is your opinion about the Fumariodeae? Do you think that it should be considered a separate family (Fumariaceae) or a subfamily of the Papaveraceae? Support your answer.
  5. Write a brief description of a "primitive" flowering plants. In other words, what are some characteristics of a primitive angiosperm?

 IV. Matching Question: Match each of the following with the appropriate subfamily of the Fabaceae

a. Caesalpinoideae
b. Mimosoideae
c. Papilionoideae
d. Caesalpinoideae & Papilionoideae
e. all of the above (Caesalpinoideae, Papilionoideae, Mimosoideae)

_____ fruit a legume
_____ flowers zygomorphic
_____ diadelphous stamens
_____ nitrogen fixing nodules
_____ long, colorful filaments

IV. Dichotomous Key Question: Complete the following dichotomous key with the appropriate family/subfamily (Papaveraceae - sensu stricto; Fumarioideae; Mimosoideae; Caesalpinoideae; Papilionoideae).

1. Flowers zygomorphic

2. Sepals 2, small and bract-like.....a.________________
2'. Sepals 5

3. All petals distinct; stamens distinct . . . .b. ___________
3'. 3 petals distinct, 2 lower petals connate; stamens connate.. c. _______________

1'. Flowers actinomorphic

4. Bicarpellate . . . .d. _______________
4'. Monocarpellate......e. _______________

V. Scratch It Question:

1. Scratch out all of the characteristics of the Magnoliopsida in the list below.  Circle the characteristics of the Liliopsida.

  • woody
  • two cotyledons
  • 4-merous flowers
  • petioles sheath stem
  • root system wholly adventitious
  • vascular bundles scattered throughout stem
  • parallel venation in leaves

2. Scratch out the feature that is NOT a characteristic of the Apiaceae

VI. True/False: Answer each of the following true (T) or false (F)

_____ A disk flower is bisexual
_____ The Asteraceae is a large family
_____ The Asteraceae has didynamous stamens

VII. Correct-the-Question: Now, go back to the True/False questions and correct any that are incorrect.

VIII. Circle-the-Term Question: Assume that you have a flower with 5 sepals, 5 petals, 10 stamens and no carpels. Circle all of the terms that follow that could be used to describe this flower. Note, do not assume anything about the flower, answer based only on the information provided:

  • apetalous
  • bisexual
  • complete
  • imperfect
  • incomplete
  • irregular
  • naked
  • perfect
  • pistillate
  • regular
  • staminate
  • unisexual

 IX. Multiple Choice Questions: Circle the correct response.

1. If a flower has an inferior ovary, then the insertion of the other floral organs is termed:

a. epigynous
b. hypogynous
c. perigynous
d. superior

2. The seeds of the Foxglove plant germinate in late spring and then grow into a rosette (whorl of basal leaves, like a dandelion) of leaves. The rosette overwinters. During the second summer, the plant flowers, sets seed and dies. Foxglove is an examples of a(n):

a. annual
b. biennial
c. perennial

3. At the base of a corn plant, roots develop to help support the plant. These "prop roots" are examples of:

a. adventitious roots
b. fibrous roots
c. tap roots

4. Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the gymnosperms?

a. monoecious
b. cone-bearing
c. trees and shrubs
d. vessels in the wood
e. ovules exposed to the environment

 X. Pictorial Identification Question: If given a diagram, photo or specimen, can you: (a) Identify the structure; (b) Identify the family in which it is found?


XI. FINISH-THE-SENTENCE QUESTION: Complete each sentence.

1. You can tell that a structure is a leaf because a leaf....
2. The Ginkgoaceae is said to be monotypic because....

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Last updated:  08/20/2007 / � Copyright by SG Saupe