Introduction 
Herbs and vines
Shrubs 
Families
Glossary

Herbarium (NCSC)
Department of Botany
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NC Coop Ext Service
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Herbs and vines

1. Plant a vine...2

1. Plant not a vine...7

2. Leaves alternate...FABACEAE

2. Leaves opposite...3

3. Leaves compound...BIGNONIACEAE

3. Leaves simple...4

4. Ovary inferior...5

4. Ovary superior...6

5. Petals 4; plant prostrate on ground...RUBIACEAE

5. Petals 5; plant climbing on objects or other plants...CAPRIFOLIACEAE

6. Corolla yellow, > 1.5 cm long...LOGANIACEAE

6. Corolla blue-purple or yellow, if yellow then < 1.5 cm long...APOCYNACEAE

7. Perianth and perianth-like structure lacking...8

7. Perianth or structure simulating perianth present...12

8. Flowers on finger-like structure (spadix) that is surrounded by a modified leaf...ARACEAE

8. Flowers not on finger-like structure that is surrounded by a modified leaf...9

9. Flowers white, in a terminal spike;  leaves with palmate veins, not sheathing stem; stem round in cross section...SAURURACEAE

9. Flowers green, greenish, or brown, not in terminal spike; leaves parallel veined, sheathing stem; stem round or triangular in cross section...10

10. Stem triangular in cross section...CYPERACEAE

10. Stem round in cross section or flattened...11

11. Ligule present at junction of leaf sheath and blade...POACEAE

11. Ligule lacking...JUNCACEAE

12. Flowers aggregated in compact heads that are subtended by a series of bracts (heads not subtended by a series of bracts do not count.)...ASTERACEAE

12. Flowers not aggregated in compact heads as above...13

13. Milky latex exudes from broken leaves...14

13. Milky latex lacking...15

14. Perianth of two whorls, sepals minute; carpels 2...APOCYNACEAE

14. Perianth-like structure of one whorl; carpels 3...EUPHORBIACEAE

15. Corolla in 3s or multiples of 3 AND leaf venation parallel...16

15. Lacking one or both of the character states noted above...20

16. Corolla irregular...ORCHIDACEAE

16. Corolla regular...17

17. Ovary superior...18

17. Ovary inferior...19

18. Stamen filaments bearded...COMMELINACEAE

18. Stamen filaments glabrous...LILIACEAE

19. Stamen 3...IRIDACEAE

19. Stamen 6...AMARYLLIDACEAE

20. Ovary inferior...21

20. Ovary superior...25

21. Flowers 5-merous...22

21. Flowers 4-merous...24

22. Leaves compound or divided...APIACEAE

22. Leaves simple, undivided...23

23. Stems dichotomously branched...VALERIANACEAE

23. Stem unbranched throughout or in upper part...CAMPANULACEAE

24. Leaves opposite or whorled...RUBIACEAE

24. Leaves alternate...ONAGRACEAE

25. Perianth of calyx only or corolla only...26

25. Perianth of both calyx and corolla...32

26. Sheathing stipule present at base of leaf...POLYGONACEAE

26. Sheathing stipule lacking at base of leaf...27

27. Upright aerial stem lacking...ARISTOLOCHIACEAE

27. Upright aerial stem present...28

28. Petals or petaloid sepals > 4...29

28. Petals or petaloid sepals 4 ( but may look like only 2) ...30

29. Stamen 5...SANTALACEAE

29. Stamen >5...RANUNCULACEAE

30. Perianth urn-shaped...RANUNCULACEAE

30. Perianth not urn-shaped...31

31. Perianth saccate; corolla irregular...FUMARIACEAE

31. Perianth not saccate; corolla regular...GENTIANACEAE

32. Corolla irregular...33

32. Corolla regular...37

33. Ovary 4-lobed...LAMIACEAE

33. Ovary unlobed or lobes not 4...34

34. Stamen 10...FABACEAE

34. Stamen 4 6...35

35. Stamen with white or orange appendages...VIOLACEAE

35. Stamen without white or orange appendages...36

36. Perianth saccate...FUMARIACEAE

36. Perianth not saccate...SCROPHULARIACEAE

37. Sepals 2...38

37. Sepals > 2...39

38. Stamen 5...PORTULACACEAE

38. Stamen > 5...PAPAVERACEAE

39. Stamen > 10...40

39. Stamen < 10...42

40. Sepals 6...BERBERIDACEAE

40. Sepals 5...41

41. Stolons present...ROSACEAE

41. Stolons lacking...RANUNCULACEAE

42. Sepals 4; petals 4...43

42. Sepals 5; petals 5...45

43. Plant scapose...PLANTAGINACEAE

43. Plant not scapose...44

44. Carpels fused throughout their lengths...BRASSICACEAE

44. Carpels fused only basally, separate throughout upper parts...CRASSULACEAE

45. Stamen connate...DIAPENSIACEAE

45. Stamen not connate...46

46. Stamen adnate to inside of petal tube...47

46. Stamen not adnate to petals...48

47. Ovary distinctly 4-lobed...BORAGINACEAE

47. Ovary not 4-lobed...POLEMONIACEAE

48. Carpels fused to each other only in their basal halves...SAXIFRAGACEAE

48. Carpels fused to each other throughout all or most of their lengths...49

49. Leaves compound, with 3 leaflets...OXALIDACEAE

49. Leaves simple, possibly lobed or dissected...50

50. Leaves lobed or dissected...GERANIACEAE

50. Leaves neither lobed nor dissected...51

51. Leaves uniformly green...CARYOPHYLLACEAE

51. Leaves variegated...ERICACEAE