Pcp day Portulacaceae Caryophyllaceae

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Haiku a form of Japanese poetry with 17 syllables in three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, often describing nature or a season. Some of these poems below are written in the style of haiku.

  • First Day of Spring

  • I keep thinking about

  • The end of Autumn

  • That seed is so small

  • Making roots below dark earth

  • Green shoots taste cold wind


  • Portulacaceae is a family of angiosperms (flowering plants,) comprising about 20 genera with 450 species, ranging from herbaceous plants to shrubs. The family has been recognized by most taxonomists, and is also known as the purslane family.


  • This family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the highest diversity in semi-arid regions of the Southern Hemisphere in Africa, Australia, and South America, especially in the Andes mountains. A few species also extend north into Arctic regions. This family is also especially diverse in western North America.


  • The APG II system (2003; unchanged from the APG system of 1998) assigns it to the order Caryophyllales in the clade core eudicots.


  • Usually succulent in habit with mucilage cells common.

  • Leaves are opposite or alternate and sprial, simple, entire with pinnate venation.

  • Stipules usually present.

  • Inflorescences determinate.

  • Flowers usually bisexual and radial.

  • Ovary superior to inferior.

  • Fruit usually a loculicidal or circumscissile capsule.


  • Major genera worldwide include:

  • Portulaca (125 spp.), Cistanthe (35), Phemeranthus (30), Claytonia (30), Lewisia (16), and Talinum (15).


  • Genera in Montana (Dorn 1984):

  • Claytonia (6 spp.), Lewisia (4 ),

  • Montia (2), Montiastrum (2), Portulaca (1), Spraguea (1).

Claytonia lanceolata Pursh. Family: Portulacaceae

Claytonia megarhiza Family: Portulacaceae

Claytonia sibirica L. Family: Portulacaceae

Lewisia rediviva Pursh Family: Portulacaceae


  • thin soil consisting of rock fragments: a soil with poorly defined layers horizons that consists mainly of partially weathered rock fragments

Lewisia triphylla (Wats.) Robins. Family: Portulacaceae

Vernally Moist Means???

  • Vernal ponds, otherwise known as ephemeral wetlands, do not contain fish yet provide critical habitat to wood frogs, spotted salamanders, fairy shrimp, and many other animal and plant species including Lewisia triphylla (three-leaf bitterroot). Vernal ponds usually contain water only during a portion of the year.

Lewisia pygmaea (Gray) Robins. Family: Portulacaceae

Lewisia columbiana Family: Portulacaceae

Montia chamissoi Family: Portulacaceae

Portulaca oleracea L. Family: Portulacaceae

Spraguea umbellata Torrey Family: Portulacaceae

Circumscissile Capsule Common in Portulacaceae

  • Splitting or opening along a circumference, with the top coming off as a lid: a circumscissile seed capsule.

Loculicidal capsule Less common in Portulacaceae

  • A Loculicidal Capsule is a dry dehiscent fruit, splitting along the locule (midrib of each ovary).


  • The Pink Family This is quite a large plant family with about 2200 species in 70 genera. They are mainly temperate herbaceous plants, and include many popular garden plants - the Pinks, Carnations and Sweet William (Dianthus), Baby's Breath (Gypsophila), Campions and Catchflies (Silene and Lychnis) and Sandworts (Arenaria), as well as a number of weeds, including several types of Chickweed (Stellaria), Mouse-Ear (Cerastium) and Pearlwort (Sagina).


  • Widespread, but especially characteristic of temperate and warm temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, mostly of open habitats or disturbed sites.

  • They seem to do particularly well on alkaline soils.

  • The plants of this family are relatively uniform, so are easily recognized.


  • The family is best known for ornamentals such as carnations, baby’s breath, soapwort, and campion.


  • Leaves and stems - The stems are usually herbaceous, dying back to a crown in winter, although some are evergreen, and some are shrubby with persistent woody rootstocks. The leaves are almost always undivided and opposite, and the stem is swollen and easily broken at the nodes. The leaf bases are often joined around the joints to make them perfoliate, but there are usually no stipules.


  • Flowers - The flowers are regular, with a calyx of four or five free or joined lobes. There are also bracts under the flowers, particularly in Dianthus. The flowers have four or five free petals, often notched or deeply cut. There are usually twice as many stamens as petals.


  • Seeds - The ovary is superior, and the fruit is a capsule containing many seeds. The seeds are variable. In some species they are round balls, and in others they are more like flat discs.


  • Members of this Family usually have:

  • Swollen leaf joints Simple undivided leaves A calyx with five lobes No stipules Flowers with four or five petals White, pink or red flowers - rarely yellow, but never blue

  • and are usually short annual or perennial herbs

But I’ve Seen Blue Carnations

  • Various colors are created in carnations by dyeing. This is how florists achieve blue and green shades. There are two ways carnations are colored, they are stem dyed or sprayed. Stem dying involves cutting the stems on the carnation and placing them in a bucket of dye with the desired color. The white flowers drink the dye and the flower exudes the color. Occasionally carnations are sprayed with a floral dye as another coloring technique.

Blue Carnations


  • In this Family, the superior ovary usually has only one chamber, and contains many seeds.

  • The capsule usually opens with several points, like an icing nozzle.


  • Genera in Montana (Dorn 1984):

  • Agrostemma, Arenaria (12 spp.), Cerastium, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Holosteum, Lychnis,Paronychia, Sagina, Saponaria, Silene, Spergula, Spergularia, Stellaria, Vaccaria

Agrostemma githago Family: Caryophyllaceae

Arenaria obtusiloba Family: Caryophyllaceae

Cerastium arvense L. Family: Caryophyllaceae

Dianthus barbatus L. Family: Caryophyllaceae

Gypsophila paniculata L. Family: Caryophyllaceae

Lychnis coronaria (L.) Desr. Family: Caryophyllaceae

Saponaria officinalis L. Family: Caryophyllaceae

Silene menziesii Hook. Family: Caryophyllaceae


  • The Buckwheat Family - a family of flowering plants also known as the "knotweed family" or "smartweed family". The name is based on the genus Polygonum. Some well known members include Eriogonum (buckwheat), Rumex (sorrel), Rheum (rhubarb), and Polygonum (Knotweed).


  • The family is named for the many swollen node joints that some species have; poly means many and goni means knee or joint, though some interpret goni to mean seed, and the name then would refer to the many seeds these plants often produce.


  • According to our text, the family consists of 43 genera, totaling about 1100 species. Numerically the most important are Eriogonum (250 species), Polygonum (200 species), Rumex (200 species), Coccoloba (120 species), and Calligonum (80 species).

  • The family is present worldwide, but are most differentiated in temperate regions.


  • Herbs, shrubs, trees, or vines, the nodes are often swollen. Usually with tanins, often with oxalic acid. Leaves usually alternate, simple, and spiral. Leaves usually entire, with pinnate venation and with a peculiar pair of sheathing stipules known as ocreae.


  • The flowers are normally bisexual, small in size, radial (actinomorphic) with calyces of 3 or 6 imbricate sepals. After flowering the sepals often become membranous and enlarge around the developing fruit. Flowers lack a corolla and the sepals are petal-like and colorful.


  • The androecium is composed of 3 to 8 stamens that are normally free or united at the base. Flowers with compound pistils composed of three united carpels with one locule - producing a single ovule. The ovary is superior with basal placentation, and 2 to 4 stigmas are produced.


  • Genera in Montana (Dorn 1984):

  • Erigonum, Koenigia, Oxyria, Polygonum,

  • Rumex

Rheum x cultorum Family: Polygonaceae

Erigonum annuum Nutt. Family: Polygonaceae

Eriogonum umbellatulm Torrey Family: Polygonaceae

Eriogonum pauciflorum Pursh Family: Polygonaceae

Koenigia islandica L. Family: Polygonaceae

Oxyria digyna (L.) Hill Family: Polygonaceae

Polygonum douglasii Greene Family: Polygonaceae

Polygonum cuspidatum Family: Polygonaceae

Rumex venosus Pursh Family: Polygonaceae

Rumex crispus L. Family: Polygonaceae

Phytoremediation Possible subject for further study and career

  • Phytoremediation consists in depolluting contaminated soils, water or air with plants able to contain, degrade or eliminate metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil and its derivatives, and various other contaminants, from the mediums that contain them.

  • It is clean, efficient, inexpensive and non-environmentally disruptive, as opposed to processes that require excavation of soil.

Thlaspi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

Thlapsi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

  • Can be used for phytoremediation in a process commonly called phytomining.

  • Has the ability to extract toxic metals from contaminated soils, and is especially good at concentrating nickel and cadmium in its stems and leaves and seed pods.

  • Crop can be harvested and the metals processed out of the plant material.

Thlapsi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

  • Researchers in Illinois believe they have the answer to the continuing food versus fuel debate and high commodity prices that challenge the biodiesel industry: pennycress. Their excitement stems from the ability of the plant to be transformed from a weed into a biodiesel feedstock. “It’s off season from corn and soybeans, has high seed yield and high oil,” says Terry Isbell, lead researcher in the new crops and processing technology group at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research at Peoria, Ill. “This plant wants somebody to pay attention to it.”

Thlapsi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

  • Field pennycress isn’t considered a big weed problem because it completes its life cycle in late spring and doesn’t compete with newly planted corn or soybeans. Pennycress is a member of the mustard family. Its heart-shaped, flat seed packets carry the tiny oilseed that yields 36 percent oil when crushed. That kind of oil yield, plus seed yields in wild stands that approach 2,000 pounds per acre, make pennycress comparable with canola as an oilseed crop.

Thlapsi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

  • The glucosinolates in pennycress meal restrict its use as an animal feed, but also contain the chemical sinigrin, which in the presence of water disintegrates into allyisothiocyante—a bio-fumigant. A bio-fumigant could provide an eco-friendly alternative to methyl bromide. Methyl bromide is a soil fumigant, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. It is used in high-value crops such as strawberries.

Thlapsi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

  • Besides killing weed seeds in the soil prior to planting high-value crops, pennycress meal would have value as a organic fertilizer.

  • In the wild, pennycress seed is produced in the spring and lies dormant until daylight hours shorten in the fall when it germinates. Its leaves grow low to the ground, providing good winter cover and preventing soil erosion. When warm spring days arrive in late April and May, field pennycress bolts and flowers reaching heights of 30 inches or so. It can be harvested in early June just in time to plant a full-season soybean crop.

Thlapsi arvense Family: Brassicaceae

  • Field pennycress appears to be a low-input crop and will likely require little fertilization.

  • Researchers are also searching for herbicides that could be used to help establish optimal pennycress stands in the fall, although it is predicted that the crop’s vigorous spring growth will make further herbicides unnecessary.

  • Pennycress tends to shatter in mid-summer, well after the early June period when the plant is dried down sufficiently to combine, yielding seeds dry enough to store.

  • In the hope of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet. -   Albert Schweitzer

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