Classification Of Crops Based On Morphology
Crops can be classified based on their morphology with respect to
- Leaf ,
- Fruit, and
- Seed for better understanding of the crops and their adaptation in different agro-climatic conditions. The classes under each crop are briefly described below:
Based on stem
Based on the stem
- Taproot crops – root systems are long and slender with one main taproot. Examples include sugarcane, potatoes, carrots and onions
- Fibrous roots crops – have a mass of fibrous roots spreading out from the stem. Examples include cereal grains like wheat and oats, vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams, fruits such as bananas, taro (cocoyam) and cassava.
Based on their size
- Large-seeded crops – these are large-sized seeds produced by plants with large fruits or seedpods. Examples include maize (corn), rice, millet and sorghum.
- Small-seeded crops – these are small sized seeds produced by plants with small fruits or seedpods. Examples include beans, cowpeas (black eye pea), lentils, peanuts and soybeans
Based on size
There are many different types of crops that grow in our world, but they can be categorized into four main groups:
- Based on the size of the plant, there are small-seeded crops like wheat and broadleaf vegetables like spinach. Small-seeded crops have seeds that weigh less than 1 gram and yield less than 5 pounds per acre (2 gm/acre).
- Based on the stem type, there are annuals, biennials and perennials that live for one season or for more than two years respectively. Annuals will die after producing flowers and fruits while perennial plants live for more than two years before dying back completely during winter or rainy seasons respectively.
- Based on their seed type, one can classify crop plants into two broad categories: self-pollinating or cross-pollinating plants depending upon whether it transfers pollen from anthers to stigma by way of wind or insects respectively; this process is called as “cross pollination” because it involves transferral between different individuals within same species whereas selfing occurs when pollen from one flower fertilizes another flower on same plant thus producing offspring with exact characteristics as parent plant but not necessarily identical due to genetic recombination occurring during meiosis at gametogenesis stage (meiosis is a form of cell division where chromosome number reduces by half due to loss of genetic material).
Based on seed
Seeds are the basic unit of reproduction in a plant. They are produced inside the fruits and some of them may be dispersed by animals.
Plants can be classified based on their seeds:
- Aggregate fruits – fruits that contain many structures such as multiple carpels or achenes, each with one seed (e.g., peas, corn)
- Simple fruit – single structure, usually containing one seed (e.g., tomato)
- Multiple fruit – more than 1 type of structure present; seeds not covered by fleshy tissue (e.g., citrus fruits)
Based on mode of reproduction
You can classify crops in different ways, depending on their mode of reproduction.
Self-pollinated crops reproduce by pollination from their own flowers or those of another plant with the same genetic make-up. Examples include wheat, rice and corn.
Cross-pollinated crops are fertilized by pollen from a different variety or species. This allows for more genetic diversity within the crop. Examples include tomatoes and strawberries.
Crop self-incompatibility refers to the inability of certain plants to pollinate themselves because they lack compatible pollen; instead they rely on cross-pollination from other plants that have been engineered with compatible DNA sequences in order to develop fruit or seedlings at all (e.g., hybrid corn). Self incompatibility is also referred to as mechanism 1:1 (self) incompatibility (or gametophytic self incompatibility).
Based on their botanical families
There are many ways of classifying crops. The classification is done based on their botanical families, reproductive system, growth habit, mode of reproduction and seedling characteristics.
Some crops can be classified based on the size of the plant. Some examples are wheat and rice which are annual plants while cotton and banana are perennial plants.
Classification Of Crops Based On Morphology
Crop classification is based on the features of crops. These features include:
- Stem: The plants can be classified according to the type of stem they have. Some plants have short and thick stems while others have long and slender stems. Some plants have woody stems while others have soft succulent stems.
- Size: The size of a plant can also be used in classifying it into different categories. A crop with small to medium size will be categorized differently from one that has large size or giant crops.
- Seed: Different kinds of seeds are produced by different types of crops, which makes it possible for us to classify them based on their seed types (e.g., grains).
- Mode Of Reproduction: The mode by which a crop reproduces itself could also be used in classifying them into different groups such as vegetatively propagated crops like potatoes, tomatoes, etc., sexually propagated crops like rice, wheat, maize and sorghum etc., annuals vs perennials; self pollinating vs cross pollinating; monoecious vs dioecious species etc..
Good luck with your taxonomy!