September 2009 Archives

V.R. Assignment 3 - Wind Seed Dispersal


The picture above is of seed pods belonging to a Delphinium, taken from the Arboretum this past weekend. As you can see, after the pods are fully developed they split open. Even tipping the pods sideways for a picture can cause the seeds to scatter. In nature, the processes of seed dispersal would be accomplished by wind blowing the stalks over. - Victoria Russell

We need poop ~JN


"Everyone knows it's windy"~JN

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Wendy Wilson- Assignment 3: Morning Glory Seeds

Wendy Wilson- Seed Pod.jpg

These Morning Glory seeds are on a large trellis outside my house. You can see two different seed pods. There is one in the center of the picture that is still holding onto its seeds from last summer. While the one on the left has only just lost its flower and is not mature yet. So hopefully it will be ready to drop its seeds next spring.

Wendy Wilson- Assignment 3: Banana Seeds

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Wendy Wilson- Seed Eaten.jpg

This delicious banana was my breakfast the other day. As you can see, the seeds are digested with the fruit, and then disbursed through excrement.

Ben's disperal by wind

These seeds are dispersed by wind or anemochory. The blade which is attached to the seed causes it to spin in a random fashion towards the ground. These seeds don't seem too effective to me because I tested a couple of them and none of them landed more than 6ft from the shaded area of the parent tree.

Dispersal by Wind_AJ

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DSCN0702.JPG This picture was also taken right behind Coffman Union. Its an illustration of seed dispersal by wind because when I was taking this picture, the leaves and branches of this tree was moving back and forth, show casing that the wind had a tremendous effect on the movement of this tree.

Ben's dispersal by animals

This is an example of what we can only assume to be dispersal by animals or Zoochory. This seed is eaten by animals who are attracted by the fleshy outside and the seeds are dispersed in their droppings. This picture got me to think about how seeds get dispersed if they have a poisonous flesh?


Animal Ingestion_AJ

DSCN0678.JPG I took this picture right behind Coffman Union. I think it's a representation of seed dispersal by animal ingestion. The red wild berries located in this tree are probably consumed by animals, such as squirrels after they have fallen from the tree to the ground.

Bao's seed dispersal by animals

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Bao's seed's dispersal by insect

Seed dispersed by Wind_BC

DSCN1147.JPG I found these plants walking back from Coffman. The seeds fall off when I touched them and since it was windy, I witnessed them flying away. So they are dispersed by wind.

Seed dispersed by Animal_BC

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DSCN1148.JPG I found this little nut underneath a tree near my residence hall. I noticed that squirrels had been eating these. So they are dispersed by animals.

Seed Dispersal by Animals (Laura Schwarz)

Seed Dispersal2 (Laura Schwarz).JPG

This huckleberry plant produces berries that are attractive to animals and birds.  When the berries are eaten, they are carried away from the parent plant and discarded in the animal's droppings, which provides a convenient fertilizer. 

Seed Dispersal by Wind (Laura Schwarz)

Seed Dispersal (Laura Schwarz).JPG

This gomphrena has wind-dispersed seeds.  Each individual bract has a feathery inside that should allow it to be carried by the wind once the inflorescence is dry.

week 3 - dispersal by wind and animal ingestion (k.cutler)

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These seeds, from a weed in an empty lot near my house, will float off in the wind with its inverted umbrella shaped end and web like top assisting it to be carried off.

The coneflower seeds being ingested by this bird will pass through him and be deposited elsewhere with a bit of bird poop fertilization. He's not the neatest eater, though, and some of the seeds are also knocked from the plant to the ground nearby where they may also germinate in the spring.

I found this plant sort of by Folwell Hall. The method of seed dispersal being shown here I believe is that by wind. The wind blows the little seeds off of this plant so they grow in other places. 


Squirrel Ingestion of Seed A ROBERTSON

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I found this little squirrel picking up seeds next to a tree by Northrop. I'm not exactly sure what kind of seed it's eating but I know that this is an example the ingestion method of seed dispersal.


Squirrel Ingestion of Seed A ROBERTSON

I found this little squirrel picking up seeds next to a tree by Northrop. I'm not exactly sure what kind of seed it's eating but I know that this is an example the ingestion method of seed dispersal.


S.Lee Wind Dispersal

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SHL wind dispersal.JPG

S.Lee Water Dispersal

SHL water dispersal.JPG

Seed Dispersal in Space via Animal Coat & Ingestion

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These little seeds are hitching a ride on the tail of my dog Zander, who nicely volunteered to help demonstrate the technique of seed dispersal via animal coat.  Each seed is covered with stiff, prickly hairs that act like the hooks on Velcro (which I believe was actually inspired by burrs) to bury the seeds within Zander's fur.  Given time, he will worry the seeds loose with his teeth and spit them out, with luck in a location favorable for the seed's germination.


The seeds on this Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' are in the process of being dispersed by ingestion, in this case via the gullet of a female Goldfinch.  Some of the seeds may survive their journey and be excreted in a new location where they can germinate and grow.

Week 3 divider

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Janes Runyan Assignment 2 - Lake Sarita

JamesRunyan Assignment 2.JPG

Lake Sarita on the St. Paul Campus. Severely stressed plants from unstable water levels, flooding and pollution.

Fruit and Limited Diversity Assignment: Kyle Levenhagen

This picture shows the kiwi i bought at Joe;s market split open. The pericarp is easy to see and is very green and juicy. There are many seeds in the kiwi each having their own black seedcoat. It was delicious.

This picture shows the few bushes that grow in front of Rapson Hall near the north entrance along Church street. The diversity of plants here is limited for a number of reasons. The biggest is probably that the university grounds crew planted them there and then mulched around them to prevent weeds and other competing less attractive plants from growing. The reason these plants were chosen though is because they are sturdy enough to withstand being trampled by the people that walk over them when taking a shortcut from the sidewalk to the entrance of the building. Another factor that limits plant diversity here is that these plants are in a location that receives little sunlight because of the 3 story building that is angled so that it blocks the light from 3 directions.

Stressful Environment

With all the pavement and rocks this is a hard place for plants to grow. This bush appears to be more hardy than other plants and so it can survive. The dry soil and lack of nutrients are likely the main causes of this situation.


On this split open kiwi, I discovered the pericarp, the green fleshy part surrounding the seeds. The small black specks are seeds, and covering them seed coats.c0_fruit1.jpg

Rosetter, Seth - Assignment 2 - Pericarp and Seed Coat

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This tomato was found at the Seward Co-op. The pericarp includes the flesh from the outside of the tomato to the cavity where the seeds are located. The gel membrane surrounding each seed is the seed coat. I found the tomato interesting because it challenged my natural perception of a seed coat as being a hard material.

megan mccrumbs fruit and stress pictures


This is a picture of an orange pepper that I found in the grocery store produce section last week. Since I couldn't figure out how to label the picture, I will try to describe them. The paricarp of this pepper is the very outter orange skin, and the seed coats are around the small seeds in the middle of the pepper!


This is a stressful environment that I found right outside of my house! In prevents plant diversity for many reasons. The rocks and dry, sandy dirt underneath them is hardy and soil for the plants to grow. The garbage cans by the plants takes up place and sunlight and the driveway near the rocks completely stop growth. I am impressed by the few plants that have grown there!

Rosetter, Seth - Assignment 2 - Plant Stress

rosetter - plant stress.jpg

I found this example on the fringe of Prospect Park to the east. It is a soon to be developed plot of land where a building once stood. By looking at the photo, there are only three to four types of plant able to survive here. I believe that the main stresses are poor soil quality leading to poor water storage and drainage. I also think the absence of shade is a contributing factor to the lack of plant growth.

orange slice

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week2 strange place to grow


V.R. Assignment 2 - Diversity Stress

This picture was taken in my grandmother's back yard. This stress area is created by the pine trees which are too tall and too close together, this close proximity creates a sheild allowing hardly any sunlight. In addition, because Pine Trees tend to thrive in acidic soils, the soil becomes more acidic over time with decomposition of conifer needles limiting the number of plants that can grow beneath these trees. As you can see, only a few small weeds are present amongst the fallen needles and pine cones and only one plant in the bottom left corner appears to be growing with little hinderance. - Victoria Russell, Assignment 2 Diversity Stress

The Pear and Winter Jacket~JN


V.R. Assignment 2 - Fruit

This picture is of a rose hip (Essentially the fruit of the Rose). You can clearly see the pericarp, outer red coat which fades towards green at the base. You can also see the many seeds, with their beige seed coats. Some of the seeds have even been broken open, displaying the difference of color between the seed coat and the inner seed. - Victoria Russell, Assignment 2 Fruit

Road Kill Plants~ JN


Stressful Environment on Washington

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Environmental HORT - NPC.JPG

I took this picture on Washington Avenue right outside the Weisman Art Center.  You can see the harsh environment from the fact that the plants (or weeds) are surrounded by concrete and have hundreds of cars passing by them everyday.

Nick Campbell

Week Two Assignment: Matthew Kessler

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treacherous living conditions mk.jpgHere I've gone and found a peach, which was not only a great learning tool, but delicious too.  The stressful environment is an area down by the U of M boathouse, which is not only subject to the rise and fall of the water level and the indescribable pollutants found therein, but the daily trampeling to and fro of the women's rowing team.  All in all, a seemingly treacherous environment for plants, though it appears as though some weed species are accustomed to the wet sandy conditions.

Matthew Kessler super delicious peach mk.jpg

Sugar Snap Pea


I found this fruit in my freezer.  I also had beans and pea pods, but I thought the sugar snap pea most clearly showed the seed coat and the pericarp.

Nick Campbell 

Bao's 2nd assignment - fruit.


Bao's 2nd assignment: stress diversity


Ben's avocado

I was lucky enough to have half of an avocado in my fridge when I went out to do this assignment. I like how clear the exocarp and mesocarp are and I believe that we are looking at the endocarp in the middle. The scientific name for avocado is Persea P. americana.
ben's avovadoben's avovado

Wendy Wilson- Assignment 2: Stress

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Wendy Wilson- Stress.jpg

This picture was taken from my car on Highway 36 towards Stillwater.I think that it shows the lack of diversity in the plants that can grow here. The harsh grime from the roads and cars, as well as the winter road salts and plows make the areas along freeways and highways not very hospitable to plant life. Only the hardiest of grasses and weeds can grow.

Wendy Wilson- Assignment 2: Fruit

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Wendy Wilson- Fruit.jpg

This is a Gala apple that I purchased from the grocery store. I have labeled the pericarp or ovary wall, and the seedcoat or ovule wall. Delicious!

Stressful Environment_AJ

IMG_0819.JPG This picture was taken right in front of Northrop,by the bench area beside the building. This picture is an illustration of what a stressful environment for plant growth looks like because the plants in this photo seem weak, without energy and almost about to die. In addition, the soil seems dry, like it hasn't been watered for a long period of time.


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DSCN1140.JPG I choose this place as a stressful environment for multiple reasons. It was near a building on campus. The ground is particularly rocky and does not have a lot of rich looking soil. The plants are also surrounded by concrete and brick. Being by a building also puts them in a high traffic area.

Ben's stressful environment.

This was a stressful environment that I found around my house. It looks like someone just dumped a load of gravel which made for a bad growing environment.

Ben's stressful environment.


DSCN1139.JPG I took this snap shot while eating supper tonight in Sanford Hall. The outer edge of the tomato and the fleshy inside is the pericarp. While the seeds are all white because they are surrounded by the seed coat. The very seed is a darker brown.

Botanical Fruit_AJ

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IMG_0841.JPG           I grabbed this apple from the dining hall in Comstock. As one can see you can clearly see the seedcoat and pericarp in this fruit. The brownish seedcoat is located at the center and the pericarp is located at the outer shell of the botanical fruit.

Boanical frui A Roberson

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I grabbed his tomato from the dining hall in Sanford. There wasn't a pedicarp so I labled the pedicarp wall.

I found this plant under the bridge on my way to the west bank. There is no sunlight that gets to this plant. Under the bridge, there are these plants and a little bit of grass growing
here and there.
Stress Plant Environment A Robertson.jpg h

Pelargonium dispersal by wind.


Seed dispersed by Ingestion


Pericarp & Seedcoat of False Indigo


This photo shows a portion of a matured inflorescence from a False Indigo (Baptisia australis) plant growing in my backyard in St. Paul.  When the ovary walls, or pericarps, are fully ripened they look like black pea pods - there can be as many as 50 of them on a raceme.  As you can see, the seed coats are two-toned brown, and are quite hard.  The seeds tend to separate from the pericarp interior when the pod is fully ripened (as shown here), so they literally "rattle around" inside the pericarp.

Low Plant Diversity (Laura Schwarz)

Stress (Laura Schwarz).JPG
This photo depicts the space between my apartment building and the one next door.  The area is shaded and protected by both buildings as well as the trees in front of them.  The heavy shade and the lack of water cause stress for the plants.  The grass that was planted here is struggling to survive, and most weeds have been unable to establish themselves.  Plant diversity is very low here. 


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These seeds belong to a morning glory that I found in my neighborhood.  They were encapsulated in the pericarp, so I had to peel it off to get to the seeds and view the seedcoats.  (There were three more seeds in the pericarp, but I lost them.)
Seeds (Laura Schwarz).JPG

Low Diversity, Stressful Environment



This sand dune is situated along the west bank of the Mississippi River, near the juncture of Minnehaha Ave. and E. 58th St.  There is very little organic material in the "soil," which is pretty much pure sand; the area is also subject to periodic floods as well as drought conditions, and is exposed to the hot afternoon sun.  It's not immediately apparent from the photo, but the area also has a pretty steep slope.  Consequently, in a 50-foot wide band from river's edge to the start of the hardwoods, the only plant observed is a species of Willow.

pericarp & seedcoat

This is a the fruit from a black walnut tree that I picked up on my run the other day. The pericarp is the soft greenish fleshy layer (which was turning black in some places). The seed coat is the hard part, which is kind of difficult to see in this picture because of the stringy bits that appeared to be attached to the pericarp. I couldn't cut or crack open the seedcoat, so I took a hammer to it to get a better view of the seed coat layer, seen below.

low diversity stressful environment


This is a marsh near where I live. It's a low spot in the terrain, often with visible water. There are cattails through the whole area, and little else. They grow in there very densely, and they are tall, so they block the light that other plants would need to grow in the area.

S.Lee Stressful Environment

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S.Lee Fruit


Week 2

week 2 divider.jpg

James Runyan Assignment 1

James Runyan Assign 1 Nodes.jpg

Node and Inflorescence From My House

node klev.jpg
This is a plant that is potted in my living room. This node has 2 leaves and two new stems in addition to the continuation of the main stem. 

inflorescence klev.jpg
This inflorescence was found in my back yard. There were several of the same species nearby.

Megan McCrumb's nodes and more!


These are pictures of some wonderful inflorescent flowers I stumbled upon around the neighborhood. The first one represents an inflorescent plant. You can see how all of the flowers come off the stem at one point. The other shows more of the node, which has 2 leaves, flowers and a continuation of the stem coming off of it. 


Juan's Inflorescence


Node by Juan


BAO's plants stems



Inflorescence and node - Matthew Kessler

junodeiper.jpgThese images were taken while taking a stroll around Huron Blvd.  The first image, the node, I believe is some sort of crabapple tree, clearly showing a big bundle of fruits in a cluster.  The second image, from the juniper family I think, is a bit busy for a photograph.  This image shows a couple of different areas where brown stem, green leaf-bits and blue juniper berries all emerge from what I assume are nodes.  (Incidentally, I have now finished uploading the images, and for some reason the 'second' image is at the top of the blog, and the 'first' is at the bottom.  Go figure.) - Matthew Kessler inflorescence won.jpg

inflorescence - sedum


This is a plant that is growing in my neighbor's garden. I believe it's a compound umbrel inflorescence. I'm pretty sure it's a sedum.

Node - Garden Aster - Aster novi-belgii


This plant is growing in my front garden. It is a Garden Aster - Aster novi-belgii, which I only know because I left the tag in there last year when I planted it. There are leaves, branches and an extension of the stem growing from the node.

Sweet inflorescence.

This cannot be counted for the assignment because I took it a year ago but I thought I would show it just because it is a really pretty example of an inflorescence. The picture was taken at the Botanical Domes in Milwaukee. Nice inflorescence.

Ben's node

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Ben's nodeI found this node right next my house in Dinkytown. It is easy to identify the continuation of the internode, branch and also a leaf that is protruding from the node. Please also note the purple tinge at the node. I was curious as to what this might be from. Possibly some growth chemical?

Ben's Inflorescence

I found this inflorescence in the parking lot next to my house in Dinkytown. I chose this one because it clearly show the Peduncle, Rachis and Pedicel. I believe from my research that it is a Dichasium type of inflorescence.

Ben's Inflorescence

la inflorescence

I found this inflorescence on a plant outside in my yard in Minneapolis. The rachis appears to be the first purple link on each flower, before it blossoms into the flower itself. Pedicel and peduncle are visible also.

found a node

I found this node on a plant inside my home. It has a large area of node with leaves, continuation of stem and flowers. The flowers are above the cropped portion of the image.

Node found on Como

Node - NPC.JPG

I also found this plant in a small garden on the corner of Como and 22nd Ave. The node is clearly visible in the middle of the stem.  It is composed of 2 leaves, 2 flowers, and a continuation of the stem. 

Nick Campbell

Inflorescence on Como

Inflorescence -  NPC.JPG

I found this plant in a small garden on the corner of Como Ave. and 22nd Ave.  The inflorescence is composed of a pink petals along with rachis just below the petals.  The peduncle is also visible.

 Nick Campbell


Inflorescent ~JN

flourescent jn.jpg

I found this plant outside of Fairview Hospital. Each flower is connected to the rachis by many pedicels which is demonstrated clearly in this picture. The penduncle is the thickest stem shown in the photo above.

Crabapple node ~JN

node jn.jpg

This plant was found near Boyton Health Service. The crabapple node has leaves, fruit (crabapple) and continuation of stem.

Node A Robertson

I found this plant on Church Street. On the last node, the peduncle, you can see two leaves sprouting outward as well as a continuation of the stem. You can also see the flower at the top.


Infloescences A Robertson

I found this flower walking towards Folwell Hall. The inflorescenses on this plant are the little groups of pink flowers that all bunch together at the end. I believe the inflorescenses on this plant would be classified as a compound umbel.

Aster inflorescence



Here is an illustration of an inflorescence on an Aster plant (exact species unknown) growing in my mother's back yard in Roseville, MN.  Based on descriptions provided by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I believe the inflorescence is of the capitulum type, characteristic of flowers in the Asteraceae family, in which many small florets (the actual flowers) are packed together and surrounded by rays (the "petals").  The pedicel and the peduncle are apparent, but since there is no branching, there does not appear to be a rachis. 

V.R. Assignment 1- Inflorescence


This is a picture of a Purple Cleome Plant (Cleomaceae Cleome) taken in my grandmother's front yard. (St. Anthony Village, N.E. Minneapolis) You can see the main rachis (stalk) that leads into the inflorescence. Another thing worth noting is the small pea pod looking structures, towards the bottom of the picture, which contain seeds. - Victoria Russell, Assignment 1

Nodes on American Raspberry plant



This photo illustrates nodes on an American Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) plant growing in my mother's back yard in Roseville, MN.  As the main branch grows from left to right, there are 3 major nodes at which there are secondary branches and inflorescences (now mostly berries).

Dessert, anyone?

Sedum Inflorescence (Laura Schwarz)


This inflorescence is on a sedum, also found in the campus test gardens.  It seems to be in compound umbel form. 

Hop Node (Laura Schwarz)

This node is occurring on a hop plant, which I found growing in the test gardens on campus.  At this node, three things are happening: leaf, fruit (the hops!), and continuation of stem.

Rosetter, Seth - Assignment 1 (Inflorescence)

Rosetter (inf).jpg

I found this example of inflorescence in a planter on Church Street. I believe it is an umbel type. Clearly visible is the peduncle shown spouting from the 2 leaf node. Also visible are the many rachis and the short pedicel from the rachis to the base of the flowers.

Rosetter, Seth - Assignment 1 (node)

Rosetter (node).jpg

I found these examples of a nodes outside of Ford Hall. At each node, 2 leaves sprout outward with a continuation of the main stem. I chose this image because the nodes are a focal point of the structure and composition of the plant. 

Wendy's Assignment 1- node

Wendy Wilson- node.jpg

This plant I found in my back yard. It is a tall grass with leaves and stem growing from the nodes.

Wendy's Assignment 1- inflorescence

Wendy Wilson- inflorescence.jpg

I found this plant in my garden at home. It is Catnip. I think that it is a Panicle structure from looking back at the cartoon. There are leaves, stems, and rachis extending from nodes

inflorescence -AS

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Node -AS


S.Lee Node

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S.Lee Inflorescence

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DSCN0427.JPG This picture was also found behind Coffman Union. In this picture you are able to see the structure of node closely, which comprises of three different plant parts. Emerging from this node is the extension of the stem, which holds the leaves and flowers.

The Essence of Inflorescence_AJ

DSCN0406.JPG This picture was taken right behind Coffman Union. It is an inflorescent plant that comprises of a cluster of pink flowers. In this picture you are also able to see the stem, peduncle, and rachis.

V.R. Assignment 1- Node

This picture was shot in the backyard of my mother's garden.(Lakeville, MN.) In the picture, you can see a close up shot of a flowering Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana). At the last node (the Peduncle) you can see a few leaves, along with the continuation of the stem (The Rachis). - Victoria Russell, Assignment 1

Assignment 1: Node_BC

DSCN1138.JPG I found this node walking to Coffman. It was hidden behind some other plants just like it. Emerging from this node is the extension of the stem, a flower, and a leaf.

Assignment 1: Inflorescence_BC

DSCN1135.JPG I found this inflorescence on my way to Coffman. This little bunch was the most colorful of the whole plant. The other bunches of flowers were green in color, but I thought that using this bright pink one would make the picture more interesting.

Let's get started!


Here's an example of an inflorescence that shows the three components that I want to see in your pictures:  Peduncle (the portion of stem between the last node and the start of the inflorescence), the pedicel (the small bit of stem attached to the base of the flower) and the rachis (the bits of stem that are between the peduncle and pedicel including the central axis of the inflorescence plus branches off the axis that lead to the pedicel).  

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