Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Taxonomy of Monocots

Today we continue our little look at the field of Taxonomy, or the systematic classification of different species.

The flower of the rather proud Tiger Lily or Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium superbum), of the eastern United States. The Lilies lend their name to the scientific name of the entire class of monocots!

Picking up where we left off, I present for you a taxonomic break-down of a class of plants, the Monots, which are the other half of the phylum or division of flowering plants, the angiosperms.  I begin with identifying the class within the larger taxonomic structure, and then proceed to the parts of the Monocots, the Class Liliopsida. I also include a common name for each family, along with the occasion common name of a species in the family aside from that implied by the common name of the family itself.  Please note that this list is not exhaustive.  Enjoy!

Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta [Vascular Plants]
Superdivision Spermatophyta [Seed Plants]
Class Liliopsida [Monocots]
·         Subclass Alismatidae [Various water plants]
·         Subclass Arecidae
o   Order Arales
§  Family Araceae [Arum family]
§  Family Lemnaceae [Duckweed family]
o   Order Arecales
§  Family Arecaceae [Palm family]
·         Subclass Commelinidae
o   Order Cyperales
§  Family Cyperaceae [Sedge family]
§  Family Poaceae [Grass family; corn, sugarcane, wheat, rice, oats]
o   Order Juncales
§  Family Juncaceae [Rush family]
o   Order Typhales
§  Family Typhaceae [Cattail family]

·         Subclass Liliidae
o   Order Liliales
§  Family Aloaceae [Aloe family]
§  Family Iridaceae [Iris family]
§  Family Liliaceae [Lily family; onions, chives]
o   Order Orchidales
§  Family Orchidaceae [Orchid family]
·         Subclass Zingiberidae
o   Order Bromeliales
§  Family Bromeliaceae [Bromeliad family; pineapples, Spanish moss]
o   Order Zingiberales
§  Family Musaceae [Banana family]
§  Family Zingiberaceae [Ginger family]

Nota bene: taxonomy is always a matter of debate and discussion – you may find different arrangements than those listed here.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture: http://plants.usda.gov/classification.html

At some future date, we can visit the Gymnosperms...

Live well!

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