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Ruth Goodlaxson's picture

Ruth Goodlaxson Rachel

Ruth Goodlaxson

Rachel Mabe

Paige Safyer

A Categorization of Plants from Planet Nearer

Our survey of Planet Nearer included a triangular area of land, and served as a good basis for categorization of plant life on this planet. In the end, we divided the plants observed into three categories: Category G, Category P and Category T. We were then able to further divide based on observable characteristics. Our distinctions were based on color, texture and shape of different components of the vegetation, and we discerned three major categories and six different types of plant life. There were two major substances that made up these plants: one, soft and green which we call “leaves,” and the other hard and brown that comprises trunks.

Category G consists of one plant. It was the first we noticed upon arrival at Planet Nearer, and covers most of the ground. The plant is entirely green, thin and straight. The tallest examples averaged about four inches tall. It appeared to have no “base;” it grew directly from the ground even though it was similar in texture and color to the substance that emerged from the upper sections of plants in the T category.

Category P also consists of one plant. It covered an area of brown soil about 12 feet square bordering the area covered by G. It consists of individual stalks, ending in circles of leaves. There were small buds at the end of each stalk in the center which were a lighter green color than the leaves and the stalk. Each plant was about 6 to 12 inches in height. The leaves were about 2 inches wide and three inches tall, with a smooth papery texture and had small points on the half of the leaf farthest from the plant.

Category T contained four varieties. The common features were a hard, brownish trunk toward the ground and softer green leaves on top. The first variety noted was T1A; this plant grew amongst category P plants. It has many thin, interweaving trunks with knots and light green, ovular leaves with serrated edges. We also noted a similar Category T in the same area. T1B appears to be related to T1A due to a similar pattern of interweaving trunks and serrated leaves. However, the leaves were darker green and longer ovals, and grew closer to the trunk in addition to growing at the top. These grew next to Category P, but there was noted thinning of P under these plants. There was one plant we called T2; this had a straight trunk, bark streaked with white yellow-green leaves and very high branches. The leaves had 5 to 6 points each and we noted some of the same shape turning brown on the ground. There were two of the T3 variety, one very large and one smaller. This type had brown bark with green and white streaking. The leaves were speckled in brown, with very defined points. The tree also had large knots and branches that became smoother farther out from the trunk. Under this tree, we found many hard green ball-like objects. Downhill, we noticed smaller plants with the same kinds of leaves as this tree, which lead us to believe that the balls rolled downhill as a means of reproduction.


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