ACE 102: The Art of Nature: Design and Function

Botanical Center Assignment


            You have spent two weeks in the Vander Veer and Quad City Botanical Centers. Most of the time you were looking and drawing. You may even have thought about the plants as you drew them. Now I would like you to write about them.

            Would you like to know more about what you drew? Did something you saw make you curious about how it grows (a banana plant, for instance)? Choose a species or group of and tell me more about it – how humans use it or cultivate it, or something unusual about it. It does not have to be one that you drew. To get you started, I have put a useful book on reserve in the library (Klein, Richard M. 1987. The Green World: An Introduction to Plants and People. Harper & Row, New York) and provided some links below. You may also locate your own links and list them for me.

            Be sure to include some of yourself in what you write – what intrigued or repelled you – as well as the basic information. List your source(s) at the end, and be sure that you put things in your own words, not your source’s! This paper need be no longer than two typed, double-spaced pages, and will be due at the time of next week’s lab.


American Fern Society – is a group interested in studying, growing, and preserving fern and fern-allies.


Chiquita Banana Home Page -- international marketer, producer and distributor of bananas and other fresh and processed food products; includes description of how bananas grow.


Story of Chocolate -- provides history, information about growing cocoa beans, a view of a chocolate factory, health aspects, and more.


Sweet Science of Chocolate – includes the history of chocolate, the chocolate-making process, and research into the possible health effects of its consumption. 


Coffee World -- offers coffees and blends from around the world, along with history, trivia, and recipes.


The Maize Page -- everything you wanted to know about corn, from Iowa State University.


Poinsettia Page -- learn about poinsettia history, facts, selection, care, and re-flowering.


Spice Pages -- reference information about spice plants and their history and usage. Developed by Gernot Katzer. Use the alphabetic index for easier access.


Tea Council -- includes teas from around the world, history of tea, and (just in case you’re interested), the tea market in the United Kingdom.


Trees of Hawaii – includes the coconut palm, coffee, macadamia, and papaya.


Tropical Rainforest Plant Adaptations – Many of the adaptations I talked about at Vander Veer are summarized here.