(Field identification of trees and shrubs)

Dendrologists and taxonomists having long experience IN THE TROPICS recommend:
First attend DENDROLOGY courses, then go to PLANT TAXONOMY courses


Our teaching methodology lets the student to have an adequate mental image of field VEGETATIVE characteristics of tropical plant families and genera, which comes soon after using for some months the DENDRO-MATRIX. Based on that mental image it is possible to easely learn FLOWER and FRUIT characteristics of such families and genera.

For example, after a person knows the Rubiaceae species by their field vegetative characteristics (leaves simple, entire, opposite or whorled, connate interpetiolar stipules) he/she will easily and fast observe in the field and will learn that most of Rubiaceae, for instance, have: bisexual flowers, inferior ovary, gamopetalous corolla, 4-5 stamens adnate to the corolla. On the contrary, when a person does NOT know leaf and twig field characteristics of Rubiaceae, it will be harder for he/she to functionally learn characteristics of flowers and fruits of this family. It is noticeable that also knowledges related to species uses, geographical distribution, biological forms, relationships among plants animals and environment, etc., are easily realized and mastered after our Dendrology courses.

Therefore, some professors -including myself- now recommend the students to first learn to recognize tropical plants by their field characteristics (as we do in Dendrology courses) and, after that, take courses or study flower and fruit characteristics (as it is done in Plant Taxonomy courses).

These ideas are closely related to the concepts of "Determine" plants and "Predetermine" plants, as explained in Article 1, and Article 3, which you may read by clicking in the "Articles about our duties" link o this Website. We also recommed to read the testimonies by Dr. Ronald L. Jones and Zoraida Calle Diaz in the "Testimonies on our services" link of this Website