Extreme Plants: Radical Adaptations in the Vegetable Kingdom (Spring 2019 C...

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Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

100 North 20th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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Extreme Plants: Radical Adaptations in the Vegetable Kingdom
Professor Jordan Teisher

Dates: 6 Tuesdays, March 26 – April 30, 2019
Time: Lectures are held from 6:30 to 7:30 PM

This course requires pre-registration. Registration opens on December 3rd, 2018. Register on Eventbrite or call 215-763-6529 x23.

Course Description

Plants live in all but the most inhospitable environments. As a result of being immobile, they have had to evolve creative strategies to perform the basic tasks of acquiring food, regulating temperature, reducing water loss, and reproducing. This course will examine some of the most dramatic examples of plant adaptations, including carnivory, parasitism, mimicry, and drought tolerance. By exploring the biology underlying these extreme evolutionary innovations, students will gain an understanding of the basic challenges facing all plants and a greater appreciation for the diversity and ingenuity of plant form and function.

Course Schedule

1. Tuesday, March 26, 2019 – Introduction to Plant Physiology
The basic needs of plants for water, nutrients and light; introduction to flower structure, pollination and reproduction.

2 Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - Water
Adaptations to aquatic and desert habitats; floating plants; succulents; modifications of photosynthesis; resurrection plants.

3. Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - Nutrients
Carnivorous plants and nutrient-poor soils; parasitic plants.

4. Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - Light
Chemical warfare between plants and the fight for light.

5. Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - Temperature
Fire-adapted species; serotiny; arctic plants.

6. Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - Reproduction
Insect mimicry in orchids; corpse flowers; pheromones.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 – make-up class (if needed)

Recommended Readings

There is no text covering all material included in this course, but any general introductory botany text would be a useful accompaniment to the lectures. In particular, sections on photosynthesis, transpiration, and reproduction would be helpful in reviewing the terms presented in the first lecture and used throughout the course.

Suggested text:
Raven Biology of Plants by Peter H. Raven, Ray F. Evert & Susan E. Eichhorn (8th edition,
W. H. Freeman/Palgrove Macmillan, 2014 but any edition is good).

About the Professor

Dr. Jordan Teisher is the Collection Manager in Botany at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. He has a PhD in Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the systematics of grasses. This is his second course for the Wagner.

For more information about all of the Wagner's course offerings this season, visit our website.


Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?

The adult lecture courses are offered on an introductory college level. They are open to anyone seeking an introduction to various areas of the sciences as well as those familiar with the subjects who wish to broaden and update their knowledge. The courses also provide an excellent opportunity for motivated junior high and high school students to supplement their current science courses and to help prepare them for further study in these fields at a college level. The courses are appropriate as well for teachers seeking to expand their knowledge.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is close to multiple public transportation lines and has street parking nearby.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Click the "Contact the Organizer" link, email, or call (215) 763-6529 x24. (Extension 23 is the registration extension.)

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Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

100 North 20th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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