The diversity in the flowering plants is enormous; more than 350,000 species have been named. Recognition of species can be a difficult task, even for the expert.
However, species have been grouped into about 400 larger taxonomic units known as families. Families usually share leaf, flower, and fruit characters that allow for easy recognition. The ability to assign unknown plants to the correct family is a useful skill for anyone interested in plant identification and culture.
This course will survey several dozen plant families with important representatives in our forests and gardens. In addition to learning the important recognition features, the course will discuss representative members of each family based on their economic and ecological importance.