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Course Description

Advance your knowledge of plant classification, growth requirements and plant use. Explore key plant structures and learn how to identify plants using relevant resources and tools such as dichotomous keys, identification manuals, and binomial naming systems.

By exploring a wide range of plant material, you will begin to learn the basic requirements and cultural practices involved in caring for plants—including location selection, planting, deadheading and watering. You will also examine some of the challenges associated with growing and caring for plants and the difference between native, non-native and invasive species.

A series of hands-on activities will assist you in the practical application of selecting plants using different criteria and requirements. A final project will provide you with the opportunity to use plant identification skills in a real-life setting.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

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

Course Topics

  • Plant Names and Classification
  • Anatomy: Stems, Roots, Leaves, Reproductive Tissue
  • The Evolution of Plants: Learning Plants by Family
  • Botanical Keys and Herbaria
  • Herbaceous Plants: Annuals & Biennials
  • Herbaceous Plants: Perennials
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Turf and Vines
  • Indoor Plants
  • Aquatic Plants
  • Vegetables and Edible Plants
  • Plant Identification and Horticulture: Bringing It All Together

Additional Requirements

  • This course is intended for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • You can expect to spend 8 to 12 hours per week to complete the course content, readings, activities, discussions and assignments.

Plant Identification is a required course in the Horticulture Certificate/Diploma and Landscape Design Certificate/Diploma.

Do not enrol in this course if you have successfully completed Introduction to Plant Identification (310-0001).


Assessment Items Weight
Discussions 10%
Quizzes 10%
Assignments 80%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change. 

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

This course is usually available every semester. Join our email information list to be notified when registration opens.

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