Thursday, March 5, 2015

Plant Identification Class (With Emphasis on Non-Native Ornamental Plants) Syllabus

This is the syllabus for tomorrow's plant identification class. The class runs for four Fridays this month, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20 and 3/27. There's still time to register for this class, or you can register at the door. Hope to see you there. 
Instructor Information

Frank McDonough, L.A. Arboretum Botanical Information Consultant
Office phone: 626 821-3236
Office hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9:00-10:00 a.m.; 3:00-4:30 p.m. Please call or e-mail me as sometimes I am out in the field (a common botanist’s excuse).
Website:  Course materials will be posted online.

Course information

Prerequisites: A willingness to stare at very small things for more than a minute.
Meeting time and place: Lecture/Lab Friday 1:30-4:00 p.m. Education Greenhouse Classroom

Course Description: Key and description driven plant classification and taxonomy with emphasis on identifying orders and families, and using web resources in able to identify non-native horticultural plants with or without knowledge of their origin or provenance.

Goals of course:
·        To familiarize you with the Arboretum collection in terms of the identification of plants in it and the relationship of those plants to other plants in the same family and order.
·        To give you an introduction to the terminology of plant organs and structures, and how you can use this knowledge to identify unknown plants.
·        When you are finished with this course you will never look at plants the same way ever again.

Required texts: How to Identify Plants, H.D. Harrington and W. Durrell
Required Equipment: Lighted 10-15x hand lens, or non-lighted lens and a bright headlamp, scalpel (will have one to share first class), gloves if needed (may be provided), wipes, dissecting needle (nice to have but not necessary)

Subjects Covered
Taxon Covered
May 6th
Introduction to Taxonomy, Plant Classification Hierarchy, Flower and Inflorescence Terms
Mint family, Acanthus family, Magnolia family, Poppy family, Grass tree family and possibly others TBD
May 13th
Leaves and Surfaces Terms
May 20th
Roots and Stems Terms
May 27th
Using Order to ID Unknown Families, Using the Internet to ID Plants

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