Plant Research And Presentation

Research what is known about your plant, including information on the issues described below. To the extent possible please use peer-reviewed primary sources (original research articles) and secondary sources (scientific review articles) for information on the plant’s effectiveness, chemical makeup, and safety. Botanical manuals available in the library, or NYBG website should be good sources for much of the basic botanical information.  Keep careful track of your sources, as you must cite them in our presentation.

Information to be included in your presentation:

  • Taxonomic information  (Family, genus, species).
    • Information on higher taxonomic levels is appropriate.
    • Relationship to any other plants we have discussed would be helpful.
  • An illustration of the plant, if possible (cite sources of any images; use large images to avoid blurry projection).
  • The medicinal purposes for which the plant is said to be useful, and by whom.
  • The part(s) used.
  • Information (from the technical scientific literature) on the plant’s
    • efficacy,
    • safety (side effects, allergens, evidence of drug/herb or herb/herb interactions) and
    • mechanism of action.
  • Information on the chemical constituents that are thought to be biologically active.
    • Include an image of the structural formula if possible
    • Include relationship to the classes of bioactive compounds discussed in class
  • Distribution of the species in the wild; where it is native.  Does it grow in NJ (native or introduced)? In the US?
  • Ecological status of the plant and its habitat; whether it is weedy, or endangered, declining or rare.
  • Whether it  is cultivated, where and how. Harvest and handling of the crop. If not cultivated, some assessment of the potential for cultivation, or why it is not cultivated.
  • How/when the it is collected in the wild.
  • Other interesting information on the plant or its use.

Prepare a 15-20 minute presentation to the class, describing your findings.



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