Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Flower families

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The Orchid family is the largest family of flowering plants, containing some 25,000 species. Orchids, like the grasses and the palms, which they resemble in some ways—for instance the form of their leaves—are monocotyledons. They have one cotyledon, or embryonic leaf, in contrast to the two of most flowering plants. Orchids have simple leaves with parallel veins. Their shape is highly variable between species.

  • Vanilla
  • Lady's Slipper
  • Orchid


Plants in this family have linear leaves, mostly with parallel veins, and flower parts in threes.

  • Turk's Cap Lily
  • Wild Garlic
  • Onion
  • Trillium
  • Fawn Lily
  • Tulip
  • Hyacinth


The family was formerly named Cruciferae ("cross-bearing"), because the four petals of their flowers are reminiscent of crosses.

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Mustard
  • Horseradish
  • Watercress


The leaves are almost always opposite, rarely whorled. The blades are entire, petiolate and often stipulate. These stipules are not sheathforming. The flowers are regular and mostly have 5-way symmetry, i.e. with 5 petals and 5 sepals, but sometimes with 4 petals. The sepals are free from one another or united. The petals are fringed or deeply cleft at the end.

  • Carnation
  • Bladder Campion
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • Common Milkweed
  • Butterfly Plant
  • Sand Milkweed
  • Whorled Milkweed
  • Deptford Pink


Plants in the Buttercup family are mostly herbaceous plants, but with some woody climbers (such as Clematis) and subshrubs (e.g. Xanthorhiza). Leaves are very often more or less palmately compound. The flowers have many free stamens arranged in a spiral and usually many free pistils. Flowers are most often grouped in terminal racemes, panicles or cymes.

  • Delphinium
  • Columbine
  • Marsh Marigold
  • Thimbleweed
  • Clematis
  • Hellbore
  • Larkspur
  • Buttercup


Cacti are distinctive and unusual plants, which are adapted to extremely arid and hot environments, showing a wide range of anatomical and physiological features which conserve water. Their stems have expanded into green succulent structures containing the chlorophyll necessary for life and growth, while the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are so well known.

  • Saguaro
  • Barrel Cactus
  • Prickly Pear
  • Rabbit Ear


Members of the Rose family have 5 sepals and 5 petals which are flat and wavy at the margins. Each flower has at least ten stamens. All members of the rose family have a hypanthium, which is a bowl-shaped part of a flower consisting of the bottoms of the sepals, petals, and stamens stuck together.

  • Rose
  • Apple
  • Blackberry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Apple
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • Cherry
  • Pear


All members of this family have five-petaled flowers in which the superior ovary ripens to form a "pod", technically called a legume, whose two sides split apart, releasing the seeds which are attached to one or both seams. A significant characteristic of legumes is that they host bacteria in their roots, within structures called root nodules. These bacteria have the ability to take nitrogen gas out of the air and convert it to a form of nitrogen that is usable to the host plant. This process is called nitrogen fixation.

  • Bean
  • Lupins
  • Clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Mimosa
  • Kudzu


The parsley family has flower clusters being in the form of a compound "umbel". The small flowers are radially symmetrical with 5 small sepals, 5 petals and 5 stamens.

  • Cumin
  • Parsley
  • Carrot (Queen Anne's Lace)
  • Dill
  • Caraway
  • Fennel
  • Angelica


Plant stem with a prominent ocreae

The seeds of the plants belonging to the smartweed family have a triangular shape. Leaves of these plants have a peculiar pair of sheathing stipules known as ocreae.

  • Buckwheat
  • Sorrel
  • Rhubarb
  • Knotgrass


The Bellflower family consists mostly of herbs, shrubs, and more rarely small trees, which usually have milky non-toxic sap. Leaves of these species are often alternate, more rarely opposite. They are also simple and without stipules. Flowers are bisexual, bell-shape, consisting of a narrow tube-like corolla with small spreading lobes. Flowers are fairly often blue. Fruits are often berries, but can also be capsules.

  • Bluebell
  • Harebell
  • Lobelia
  • Balloonflower


The flowers in the Mint family typically have petals fused into an upper lip and a lower lip. The leaves emerge oppositely, each pair at right angles to the previous one or whorled. The stems are frequently square in cross section, but this is not found in all members of the family, and is sometimes found in other plant families. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical with 5 united petals, 5 united sepals. They are usually bisexual and have a flower cluster that looks like a whorl of flowers but actually consists of two crowded clusters.

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Perilla
  • Self-heal

Aster (Daisy)[edit]

A typical Asteraceae flower head (here Bidens torta) showing the individual flowers
Flowers of a sunflower with different forms and phases (sterile ray flowers, disc flowers in female, male and unopened phases)

Plants in the Aster family typically have one or both of two kinds of florets. The outer perimeter of a flower head like that of a sunflower is composed of florets possessing a long strap-like petal, termed a ligule; these are the ray florets. The inner portion of the flower head (or disc) is composed of small flowers with tubular corollas; these are the disc florets. The composition of asteraceous inflorescences varies from all ray flowers (like dandelions, genus Taraxacum) to all disc flowers (like pineapple weeds).

  • Aster
  • Common Daisy
  • Oxeye Daisy
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Lettuce
  • Chicory
  • Sunflower
  • Safflower
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Goldenrod
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Dandelion
  • Boneset
  • Strawflower
  • Ragwort


The plants are annual or perennial herbs with flowers that are zygomorphic (can be divided by only a single plane into two mirror-image halves, much like a person's face), or rarely actinomorphic (can be divided into symmetrical halves by more than one longitudinal plane passing through the axis, much as a pie can be cut into several equal and identical pieces).

  • Butterfly Bush
  • Figwort
  • Foxglove
  • Mullein

Internal links[edit]

Hydroponics for orchid cultivation Creative Idea: Use a foldable to record / organize this information. Go here to learn how.