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Sandra B. Wilson and Luke Flory

An interactive plant key was developed as an online tool with the specific goal of improving student learning of botanical vocabulary, plant morphology, and plant families. The online tool provides two options for using the multiple-entry key: identification of plant families based on historic botanical illustrations or live plant samples. The database consists of 196 angiosperm families, each with up to 220 botanical characters, and includes all of the plant families found in Florida. The tool uses a ternary system to record the diversity within each plant family such that upon entering identification information, families are eliminated that do not contain specific characters, which narrows the list of possible correct families. The remaining families are ranked according to total score, so families in which the features are common will appear first. This versatile online tool can be used nationwide to supplement in-person laboratory courses or distance education classes in horticulture, botany, systematics, and biology. To date, the newly launched site has been accessed by 1148 unique visitors from 15 countries.