Systematic Botany - James Eckenwalder
January 24, 2013
Continuation of previous lecture
Book 11 of Sahagún was arranged according to Pliny's Natural History
It doesn't reflect Aztec thinking at all.
Pages in Sahagún's book dedicated to beans and cacti, essentially have plants that all look
alike. The only way they are differentiated are the pods within the beans (?)
Two other significant works of classification: Martin de la Cruz who was a student of Sahagún,
writing an Aztec herbal book containing medicinal plants. There is a big emphasis on
underground parts like roots. Those parts of the plant are emphasized in illustrations. Francisco
Hernandez went all over Central Mexico, whereas Sahagún was concentrated in the valleys of
Mexico. Francisco mostly gathered information on medicinal plants. His work shows more of the
variability in names. Ex. Iztac pahtli meant white plant which was used all over Mexico.
Any plant has only one correct name, but there are about 8 families that are exceptions to the
rule. Ex. Apiaceae, Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae, Poaceae, Arecaceae, and
Hypericuceae. Each of these families also have a name that doesn't follow the standard form:
Umbelliferae, Lebiatae, Compositae, Leguminosae, Cruciferae, Gramineae, Palmae, Guttiferae.
These alternate names are based on morphological details that are folk biological intermediates.
Plants were broken down into 2 categories in Linnaeus's work (focused on sex):
Phamerogram - showing or visible marriage. Essentially seed/flowering plants, where the
reproductive structures were very obvious to animals.
Cryptogram - hidden marriage. Reproductive structures were harder to find.
Subdivisions of cryptograms: algae (photosynthetic), fungi (non-photosynthetic), bryophytes
(mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), and bacteria.
Subdivisions of phamerograms: angiosperms, gymnosperms.
In the 1960s, endosymbiosis idea was developed. Chloroplasts and mitochondria were associated
with eukaryotic plants.
Looking at smaller cell structures, people put more emphasis on unicellular things.
There came to be an arrangement of organisms known as the five kingdoms: Animals, Plants,
Fungi, which were mostly multicellular, Protista, for unicellular organisms, and then
Prokaryotes, which were organisms that didn't have a distinct nucleus. The first four were first
treated as Bacteria. Blue and green algae were previously grouped with prokaryotes. Seed plants
were all eukaryotic.
Animals, Plants and Fungi all had some relatives to the Protista.
Archaea were the discovered and were put into their own groups.
In the end, there were three major domains: eukaryotes, bacteria and