Characteristics of herbaceous plants

GIF external image stemswoody

Most monocots are herbaceous annuals or perennials that shoot each season from an underground storage organ (bulb, corm or rhizome) although some do form small woody trees (e.g. Xanthorrhoea). Many species have short stems and most leaves are basal, sometimes forming dense tussocks. The leaves are usually long and slender and have parallel venation. The floral parts are usually in 3's. When the perianth is petaloid (showy) there are usually two whorls, each of 3 parts. In the grasses, sedges and rushes, the perianth may be much reduced or absent. Below is a key that might be useful for determining the family of a flowering specimen.

A Basic Key to the Common Monocotyledonous Families of Tamania (based on floral characters).

1) Petaloid perianth present

a) Perianth actinomorphic (radially symmetrical)

b) Perianth zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical)



2) Petaloid perianth absent

a) Flowers arranged in spikelets

(i) Leaves conspicuous

(ii) Leaves reduced to sheathing scales

b) Flowers arranged in clusters

- lily family

Plants herbaceous. Leaves often linear and grass-like arising from a bulb, tuber, corm or rhizome. Flowers actinomorphic, usually bisexual. Inflorescence often a raceme. Perianth 2 whorls of 3 tepals, free or united; stamens 6; carpels 3; ovary superior. Fruit usually a capsule or berry.

Best known genera include: Astelia, Blandfordia, Burchardia, Dianella, Drymophila, Milligania.

XANTHORRHOEACEAE- grass-trees, mat-rushes

Small trees or perennials with more or less woody stems. Leaves are tough and linear. Flowers radially symmetrical, usually bisexual but sometimes unisexual in Lomandra. Inflorescence may be spike-like or flowers may be solitary. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls of 3, free or united; stamens 6; carpels 3, united; ovary superior. Fruit usually a capsule.

Best known genera include: Lomandra, Xanthorrhoea

AMARYLLIDACEAE- amaryllis family

Plants herbaceous. Leaves linear arising from a bulb. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual. Inflorescence usually an umbel, borne on a scape (stalk). Perianth 2 whorls of 3 tepals, free or united; stamens 6; carpels 3; ovary often inferior. Fruit a capsule or berry.

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Stephen Gould against the "adaptation"

2005-01-01 00:11:30 by _argument_

You wrote: "native plants generally have had time to become adapted to the environment, and other species have had time to adapt to them."
Is this the "best fit" argument? The late Stephen Gould argued that a native plant is not necessarily best adapted to the site, and vice versa.
Although the plant is a part of the ecosystem, it is not necessarily contributing to an optimal ecosystem.
(Additionally, "ecosystem" simply refers to the relationship between plants/animals/and physical environment, native and/or non-native.)
Even in an pristine native environment there is change

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Shallow rooted annual and perennial herbaceous plants can be planted closer to the drain fields since they do not have invasive roots. Turfgrass can be grown over the drain field and is beneficial since it helps hold the soil in place.

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