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Activity 07: Herbarium

Practicing identification & adaption to location

Objective: Identifying family, genus and species with the help of field guides. Adoption to different locations.
Learning outcomes: Learners are able to identify plant species with the help of field guides, to create complete labels for herbaria and to work out plants‘ adoption to locations exposed to dry climatic conditions.
Previous knowledge: Creating a herbarium, knowledge of different characteristics for identification.
Duration: approx. 60 min
Materials / Conditions: List of species, field guides, herbarium
Methods / Techniques: Individual work, group work, identification, discussion, analysis
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module 3: Collection, processing and analysis of environmental data / Level: expert learning

Due to the dry climate, vegetation in Cabo Verde is semi-desert like, which means that in the only kind of plants capable of surviving there has adopted to the drought through different mechanisms or morphological features. (Translated from: .

In order to identify different plants‘ genus and species exactly, one should particularly examine its phyllotaxy, leaf stalk & base, number of petals, and the petals‘ color as well as stipe. First of all, one identifies the plant’s class, subclass, order, family, subfamily and finally genus and species.

1. Take a look at the following list of species ( and look for one of these plants.

2. Identify all of your plants’ categories (class, subclass, order, family, subfamily, genus and species)
Dry your plant and create a complete label for your herbarium including the following items: family (Latin name), species (Latin name), location, gatherer, who identified the plant and date. Note: endangered plants must not be picked and you’re not allowed to pick plants in protected areas!

3. Discuss with your partner: Why can plants grow in certain locations only and how have they adapted to drought? Use your Herbarium for information to support you in solving this task.

Possible results / Results:
• Different plants are identified according to all of their „categories“ (latin names) If the same plants grow in similar locations, this is called a habitat. Some plants are able to settle in different habitats. The plant species‘ spatial distributions mirror their habitat conditions.
(Translation taken from: Kadereit, J.W., Körner, C., Kost, B., Sonnewald, U. (2014). Straßburger Lehrbuch der Botanik (Auszüge aus Kapitel VI Ökologie)
• Some examples of an adoption to dry conditions include: thickened cuticle, leaves covered with wax layer, tomentum od dead „hair“
(translation taken from:

Related activities:

Author: Janina Dorothée Beck
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Jana Prokaka

en/learning/courses/subjects/s01/m03/expert-learning/a07.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/15 10:21 by sschoeffer