Natural History Unit 4: Kansas Plants

Unit 4: Kansas Plants (Question-based Objectives)

Keywords– Black Willow, Osage Orange, Mulberry, Elm sp., Dogwood, Cottonwood, Sycamore, Red Oak, Hackberry, Maple sp., Eastern Red Cedar, Red Bud, Black Walnut, Smooth Sumac, Honey Locust, Yucca, Buckbrush, Poison Ivy, Bittersweet, Bristly Greenbriar, Riverbank Grape, Virginia Creeper, Trumpet Creeper, Common Milkweed, Butterfly Milkweed, Purple Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan, Daisy Fleabane, Chicory, Yarrow, Gayfeather, Sunflower sp., Goldenrod sp., Giant Ragweed, Aster sp., Thistle sp., Spiderwort, Wild Garlic, Prickly-Pear Cactus, Queen Anne’s Lace, Yellow Sweetclover, Cattails, Big Bluestem, Switch Grass, Prairie Cord Grass, Side-oats Grama


1. What are some plants that can be found in Kansas, and what are some interesting facts about them?

2. How are the Kansas Plants we’ll study related to each other?

3. How do scientists preserve plants for future study?

4. What are the characteristics of dandelions and how do they vary?

5. What should everyone know about poison ivy?


1. Complete “Kansas Plants Fact Find Questions”, using
Kansas Trees, Shrubs, Woody Vines Information PPT” and “Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses Information PPT” and/or field guides.

2. Identify all species from the “Kansas Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines Practice PPT” AND the “Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses Practice PPT” (using Information PPT’s and field guides).

3. Create a Kansas Plants Classification Concept Map using “A Checklist of Kansas Woody Plants” and “A Checklist to Kansas Grasses and Forbs”.

4. Kansas Plants Herbarium Project

5. Dandelions (LUTS 213).

6. “Poison Ivy Itch” reading and “Poison Ivy Itch” worksheet.


1. Research and explain the economic importance of various Kansas Plants.

2. Research and explain the impact of the massive loss of prairie ecosystems.

Further Research: plant evolution, edible native plants, native medicinal plants, dangerous native plants, invasive plants in Kansas, seed dispersal mechanisms, plant-insect relationships (symbioses), physiology of Kansas Sensitive Plant, native plant defenses to being eaten (herbivory), H. A. Stephens, SINC, Threatened, and Endangered Kansas Plants, etc.



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