Dichotomous Key Practice

  1. Plant species has bark and cones.
    1. Plant 1
  2. Flowering plant
    1. Hairy like simple leaves with an entire margin
      1. Plant 4
    1. Violet petals with yellow center
      1. Plant 3
    1. White petaled flower that droops downward.
      1. Plant 2


  1. Thanks Samantha,
    well done. For the dichotomous key you want to create couplets that divide plants into two mutually exclusive categories. So 1 and 2 work. Actually plant 4 is a tree too 🙂 a willow, but not necessarily apparent from the pictures. You always want to make two statements similar to a fork in the road. So for couplet 1 you would have plant species has bark and cones (plant 1) vs flowering plants. The next couplet would be plants with simple leaves with entire margin and with simple hairs (plant 4) vs. plant with leaves simple with entire margin, but with forked trichomes or leaves highly dissected. Lastly you could divide plants 2 and 3 by simple leaves with forked trichomes, the petal colors and the way the flowers are drooping (plant 2) vs. highly dissected leaves with upright flowers with purple petals (plant 3). Lots of different ways to create a key for these plants.

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