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Below are the assignments for the Spring semester Special Projects

Chemistry has no outside projects.

Biology Texas Wildflower Project

Texas Wildflower Collection


Due date: April 7th/8th, 2021               Late projects are not accepted.


             Each student will make a wildflower collection consisting of 10 legal wildflowers of 10 different families identifiable in wildflower identification books or from pressed specimen displayed by the biology teacher.  Flowers must be collected in Texas.

             Wildflower projects count as two major test grades.


Materials needed:

  1. 10 legal wildflowers from 10 different families—Do not pick flowers on Inter State road sides or freeways. It is illegal, and you may be issued a ticket.  You may pick flowers from county road sides and ditch areas.  Be careful not to trespass on private property.  Ask before you pick in someone’s yard.  Be alert for snakes, poison ivy, fire ants and bees.


Flowers must be properly pressed.  Each flower must have a stem and two leaves from the plant with it.  Do not collect roots.  Do not collect a plant if it is the only one blooming in the area.  We must be good stewards.  Collect only from wildflowers blooming in abundance.  Spanish moss, which hangs from many oak trees, is difficult to find blooming.  Check to see what the flower actually looks like.


  1. 10 sheets of white acid-free smooth cardstock—not typing or construction or computer paper. You may find this at teacher /office supply stores. 
  2. Elmer’s glue or a water base glue similar to Elmer’s—No tape, No staples, No stick glue, and No plastic sheet protectors. Points will be taken off for not following instructions.
  3. 10 identification labels—you must create a label for each specimen and place it on the lower right corner of the cardstock paper. These may be printed by hand neatly or computer generated.
  4. Large envelope—to enclose your flower collection when turned in. Do not use a plastic envelope or sheet protectors, this causes molding and points will be taken off.  Your name must be on the outside of the envelope.  No notebooks are accepted.


To collect, look in your yard, flower beds, along fence-rows, vacant lots, pastures, etc.  Do not pick flowers on State or Interstate highways and medians.  As you collect get:

  1. flower
  2. stem
  3. Two leaves—be sure you get leaves from the base of the plant or see if they look different from leaves near the top. Many flowers have supporting structures called bracts, which look similar to leaves.  They may be green or colored, but they are modified leaves, not true leaves.    Spiderwort or Lyre Leaf Sage.


Keep an accurate record: you must record the Month, day and year each flower was collected plus an accurate description of the location.  Your teacher or another collector could find the spot and photograph flowers there.  The following are accurate descriptions:


                           Texas., Harris Co., Norchester, 12756 Normont, my yard.     

                Or     TX., Harris Co., 3.4 mi. S. Jct. FM 249 and Louetta Rd.

             (note: State, county, subdivision, or mileage, address with street-be specific)


Pressing: An old telephone directory or yellow pages works great, newspapers are good too.  Place the flower or flowers with the petals and leaves spread out to display its natural beauty in between some pages lined with white, non-dimpled paper towels and continue doing this until all of your flowers are in the press for that collecting spree.  On the page where you press the flower, include a sticky note with the location you picked each flower and the date.  Repeat when adding more flowers.  Placing the flower in between white paper towels, without dimples, in the press hastens the drying process.

             Place some books or bricks or something heavy on top of the press (yellow pages or newspapers) to mash the juices out of the plant.  Continue doing this until you have all of your samples dried.  Let them stay in the press for at least 1 week and preferably 2-3 weeks, depending on the thickness of the plant.  Very thick specimens will take quite a while to dry.  Moist specimens will not be graded.

             **Place the press in a safe place, away from ants, dogs, little brothers or sisters and let everyone in your household know what the press is for, so it will not be thrown out while spring cleaning.**


Mounting flowers:

Place the dried pressed plant on the center of the Biology paper.


Place a few drops of white glue to the backside of the flower, stem and leaves spread with a toothpick (no glue sticks).  Carefully place the flower glue-side down on the center of the biology paper and press down firmly for a few seconds.  Points will be deducted for flowers placed face down (backwards).


Place a few drops of glue to the backside of the identification label and place it on the lower right-hand corner of the biology paper.  Points will be deducted for not following directions.


Place the wet glued flower and label someplace to dry.  Do not place anything on top of the wet glued flower and label until it is thoroughly dry.  (This means you cannot complete this project the day before it is due or the morning it is due.  The pages will stick together and ruin your work.)


Label information—fill in the information, either typed or printed neatly before gluing to the right bottom corner of the biology paper.  You may type the entire label on your biology paper if desired. You may include headings or just the information in order. (You may use either example below.)


Common name of flower—may be found in the wildflower identification books, or from flowers on display.  Double check your book identification with the display flowers.  Capitalize each word in the flower’s common name if it has two or more parts. (ex. Scarlet Pimpernel).


Genus name—capitalize and underline. (ex. Cornus)


Species name—must include the Genus name typed or written first (capitalized), and then the species name (lower case).  Both are underlined but only the genus is capitalized.  (ex. Cornus florida)


Family name—Capitalize, do not underline.  (Ex.  Corneaceae) Be sure and use the new family names. (see the next page for information.


Location—be specific. See illustration below.


Date—Month, day and year. (March 3, 2013 or 3-3-13)



Collector—your name, first and last name, regardless of who picked it-This is your collection.



Wildflower identification books: (you can check these out at the library.)

             A Field Guide to Southwestern & Texas Wildflowers—Niehaus, Ripper & Savage

             Roadside Flowers of Texas—Howard S. Irwin

             Texas Wildflowers—Campbell & Lynn Loughmiller

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American WildflowersSouthern Region---Knopf

A Field Guide to Wildflowers—Peterson & McKenny

Geyata Ajilvsgi—Wildflowers of Texas 



Note above: Several family names have changed**Use the new family names. The scientific name has not changed, only these family names.  If your book uses the old family names, simply change the family name to the new family name.**

The library has most of the best books.  They are usually on reserve for research this time of year, so you may or may not check them out, but you may take your collection and identify your flowers at the library.  Also, I will bring my I.D. books to class and during break you may use them.  I cannot check them out to you because I have lost several. 


  1. Alphabetize the families and number the sheets 1-10 on the bottom right hand corner of the flower label.
  2. Place the collection in a large envelope, not a folder or notebook—no sheet protectors.
  3. Place your name on the outside of the envelope.