While this course focuses on plant families, and the taxonomic categories that they comprise (genera, species), it is important to also remember that families are grouped into orders in the taxonomic hierarchy (cf. the list of flowering plant families). The scientific name of an order is formed using the name of an included family, plus the ending -ales (e.g. the Ericales includes the family Ericaceae).
Members of an order (i.e. families) typically share many morphological, chemical, or anatomical features that set them apart from other orders. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Website is particularly good in the way it catalogs the shared, derived features common to members of flowering plant orders. The standard form for the names of plant taxa can be accessed on the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) web site.
| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |
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