The Brassicaceae family is one of the most speciose families in Colorado, with 180+ species. Although it is usually easy to identify a member of this family by their cross-shaped flowers and unique fruit, identifying to genus or species can be difficult. Join Dr. Jennifer Ackerfield as she takes you through an overview of the mustard family, and provides tips and tricks for determining genera/species. Topics covered will include “What is a dolabriform hair?,” “What do leaves with sagittate or auriculate bases look like?,” and “What is the difference between a silique and a silicle?”. We will also discuss apps that you can use to help in your quest to identify mustards. This webinar is designed for the intermediate to advanced plant identifier.
Jennifer Ackerfield is the Head Curator of Natural History Collections at Denver Botanic Gardens. Prior to this, she was a curator at the Colorado State University herbarium for 21 years. At CSU, Jennifer also taught Plant Identification and Grass Taxonomy, educating approximately 150 students each year on the wonders of botany. Most notably, Jennifer is the author of the Flora of Colorado. She received her Master’s in Botany with a concentration in taxonomy and systematics in 2001, studying the systematics and evolution of the English ivy genus, Hedera. Jennifer recently obtained her PhD in Botany, studying the taxonomy and evolution of the genus Cirsium (thistles) in North America. She has collaborated with researchers throughout the U.S. and world, including Australia, Spain, and Turkey. Jennifer has also worked with the Colorado Native Plant Society, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Mesa Verde National Park.
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