Plant Taxonomy (ie. the scientific identification of plants) has been increasingly sidelined and neglected in horticulture, agriculture, botany and science courses.
This is really something that EVERYONE who works with plants should study.
"This course covers topics that my colleagues have complained about being neglected in many horticulture and agriculture courses for decades. These are topics that used to be studied in most certificates, diplomas and degrees but no longer. This is knowledge that could be lost to the industry if new entrants do not make an effort to learn it.", John Mason, Principal, ACS Distance Education.
Knowing what we teach here will help you make a lot more sense of plant names.
This short course is a great way to become proficient in understanding the essentials in plant taxonomy.
To the ill informed, it is a low priority for gardeners, environmentalists or farmers to identify obscure parts of a plant; or place plants into a high level scientific classification such as a family or class. For anyone who understands these industries well however, it can be critical to have that knowledge. Taxonomy trains people to observe the finer details that separate one plant cultivar from another. It provides a framework that makes the process of identifying plants systemic.
This course will help you to identify what a plant is faster and with greater accuracy than would otherwise be possible.
Leading horticulturists and botanists all over the world are all too aware of a serious decline in taxonomic skills and awareness.
Anyone who works with plants needs to understand how critical plant taxonomy is.
Without this level of taxanomic knowledge though; you risk mis-identifying plants. That can mean growing a less productive species; or even worse -growing a plant with higher levels of toxins and being unaware you are doing so.
This short course that can be completed in 20 hours covers 4 lessons:
Lesson 1 INTRODUCTION - The Why and How of Plant Names
Why Name Plants?
Scientific Vs. Vernacular Names
Ranks and Language
Ranks of Classification - KPCOFGS
International Code of Botanical Nomenclature
The Basic Ideas
a) Valid publication
b) The type method
c) Aim of the principle of priority
d) Exceptions to the principle of priority
Recent Changes to the Code
International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants
Taxonomic Name Resolution Service
International Plant Names Index
The Rise of Molecular Data
The Impact of Molecular Data
Lesson 2 NAMING THE BITS - Plant Anatomy
Describing a Plant for the First Time, or “Naming the Bits”
Botanical Characteristics of Dianthus
A Key to the Main Types of Fruits
Lesson 3 IDENTIFICATION TOOLS
Collecting and Preserving a Plant
The Problem of Colour
The Law Relating to Plant Collecting
Describing a Plant on Paper
The Equipment You Need
Making a Key
Using a Key
When all this fails, what do you do?
Lesson 4 PLANT FAMILIES - The Family Life of Plants
What Genera are in What Family?
Apiaceae (= Umbelliferae)
Asteraceae (= Compositae)
Brassicaceae (= Crucifereae)
Fabaceae (= Leguminosae or Papillionaceae)
Lamiaceae (= Labiatae)
Poaceae (= Graminae)
Other Significant Plant Phyla