Dichotomous Key

Dichotomous Key 

A: Plant produces cones 

A: Plant has flowers 

A: Plant has needles (Plant 1)

A: Plant has leaves (Go to B)

B: Plant has smooth stems

B: Plant has hairy stems (Go to C)

C: Plant has white or yellow flowers (Plant 2)

C: Plant has purple or blue flowers (Plant 3)

D: Plant has simple leaves (Plant 4) 

D: Plant has serrate leaves 

Plant 1
Plant 2
Plant 3
Plant 4


  1. Thanks, overall, I think you got the concept, but a few pointers to remember. You want to think about the dichotomous key as a two way fork in the road, you can only go left or right. Then we also give these choices names. So for examples A- plants with needles and cones, vs. A’ plants without needles and cones. Then you can already check off the spruce (plant 1) under A – plants with needles and cones -> plant 1. Under A’ plants without needles and cones -> B, you can further divide those 3 plants. At each junction you want to check off one more plant. So B. Plants with white flowers -> plant 2 and B’ plants with flowers other than white -> C. Here you can divide the 2 remaining plants by C. Plants with many stamens per flower -> plant 3 vs. C’ Plants with 2 stamens per flower -> plant 4.

  2. Haijatai Hines

    I had difficulty with this project to really know how to describe it with plants. I really like how simple and descriptive yours is. I did some overthinking. I do know (from my understanding) that with these keys though it’s important that you group and lead the plants to other groups if I’m explaining that correctly.

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