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Course Description

Plant Identification teaches the basics of plant classification, growth requirements, and plant uses. Students will learn key plant structures, and how to use tools such as dichotomous keys, identification manuals, and binomial naming systems to accurately identify plants. By exploring a wide range of plant material students will begin to learn about the basic requirements and cultural practices involved in caring for plants including planting, pruning, fertilizing, and other routine maintenance procedures. Students will also be taught about cultivars and the difference between native and non-native, benign and invasive species.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Identify the purpose, growth, and features of each of the plant organs including stems, roots, leaves, etc.
  2. Employ botanical and taxonomic keys to identify plant species.
  3. Verify common horticultural plant species and their uses.
  4. Use accurate botanical names and accepted common names.
  5. Use knowledge of growth and maintenance requirements in plant selection.
  6. Select plants appropriately using criteria such as ecological value, aesthetic appeal, hardiness, impact on the ecological community, plant size, flowering, fruiting, and seasonal appeal, and site requirements.

Course Topics

  • Plant Names and Classification
  • The Evolution of Plants: Learning Plants by Family
  • Anatomy: Stems, Roots, Leaves, Reproductive Tissue
  • Botanical Keys and Herbaria
  • Herbaceous Plants: Annuals, Perennials, Biennials Part 1
  • Herbaceous Plants: Annuals, Perennials, Biennials Part 2
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Turf & Vines
  • Indoor Plants
  • Aquatic Plants
  • Vegetables & Edible Plants
  • Plant Identification & Horticulture: bringing it all together


Assessment Items Weight
Quizzes 10%
Course Journal 15%
Dichotomous Key Assignment 15%
Herbarium Mount 15%
Nursery Assignment 5%
Group Discussion 10%
Plant Recommendation 30%

Please note that assignment items and weights are subject to change. 

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

*Course details are subject to change.


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