A student of taxonomy was puzzled when told by his professor to look for a key to identify a plant

the-living-world

#1

A student of taxonomy was puzzled when told by his professor to look for a key to identify a plant.
He went to his friend to clarify what key the professor was referring to? What would the friend explain to him?


#2

The key for identification of plants is a taxonomic key. It is an important taxonomic aid. Key can be defined as a set of alternate characters arranged in such a manner that by selection and elimination one can quickly find out the name of an organism. Depending upon the category, a key may be class key, order key, family key, genus key and species key.
Taxonomic keys can be of two types
(i) Indented or Yolked key
(ii) Bracketed key
Indented key, provides a sequence of two or more alternate characters from which selection and elimination are carried out. In bracketed key, the alternate characters are given numbers in brackets. For example, take four genera of family-Ranunculaceae to explain this.
(i) Ranunculus Leaves alternate or radical, flowers not subtended by involucre, carpels ovuled, fruit achenes.
(ii) Clematis Leaves opposite, compound petals absent, sepals 4, carpels uniovulated and first achenes.
(iii) Nigella Flowers regular, carpels united at base, many ovulated, fruit follicles.
(iv) Anemone Leaves alternate or radical, flowers subtended by involucre, carpels 1-ovulated fruit achenes.