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Plant Taxonomy Short Course



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Plant Taxonomy Short Online Course:

The scientific identification of plants, named Plant Taxonomy, is a vital in the agricultural and horticultural industries, plus for anyone completing botany and science courses at college, university or via distance learning. It is highly recommended for EVERYONE working with plants, or learning to work with plants.

Completing this course will enable you to identify crucial differences between one plant cultivar and another and will provide you with the blueprints to systematically and correctly identify plants. Why is this important? It's important because with the level of taxonomic knowledge that you will gain, you will accurately recognise plants quicker and at best, avoid the risk of producing a less successful crop and at worst, avoid unknowingly growing plants with a high level of toxins.

Renowned agriculturists, botanists and horticulturists realise that the ability to correctly identify plants is in decline and is at risk of being lost. This course has been developed to redress this neglected area of working with plants, and to give learners the essentials in understanding plant taxonomy. These essentials will help you throughout your career.

You can complete this course in just 20 hours, that's 2 hours a night for 10 days, or even over a weekend if you need to have your certificate for an interview, on a Monday morning.



Lesson 1: Introduction - The Why and How of Plant Names

  • Why Name Plants?
  • Scientific vs. Vernacular Names
  • History
  • John Ray
  • Linnaeus
  • Ranks and Language
  • Ranks of Classification - KPCOFGS
  • Latin Names
  • Gardener’s Ranks
  • 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
  • Legitimate Naming
  • 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”
  • Habit
  • Stems
  • Hairs
  • Flowers
  • Botanical Characteristics of Dianthus
  • Fruits
  • Indehiscent
  • Schizocarpic
  • Dehiscent
  • A Key to the Main Types of Fruits
  • Roots


Lesson 3: Identification Tools

  • Using Resources
  • Collecting and Preserving a Plant
  • Fresh Material
  • Herbarium Specimens
  • Photographs
  • The Problem of Colour
  • The Law Relating to Plant Collecting
  • Describing a Plant on Paper
  • The Equipment You Need
  • DNA Bar-coding
  • Floral Formulae
  • Floral Diagrams
  • Keys
  • Making a Key
  • Using a Key
  • When all this fails, what do you do?
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Nurseries


Lesson 4: Plant Families - The Family Life of Plants

  • What Genera are in What Family?
  • Monocotyledons
  • Dicotyledons
  • Major Families
  • Anthophyta
  • Apiaceae (= Umbelliferae)
  • Araceae
  • Asteraceae (= Compositae)
  • Brassicaceae (= Crucifereae)
  • Bromeliaceae
  • Cucurbitaceae
  • Fabaceae (= Leguminosae or Papillionaceae)
  • Gesneriaceae
  • Lamiaceae (= Labiatae)
  • Liliaceae
  • Myrtaceae
  • Orchidaceae
  • Poaceae (= Graminae)
  • Other Significant Plant Phyla
  • Coniferophyta
  • Monilophyta



This course is completed entirely online, including lessons, self-assessment tests, plus obtaining your certificate at the end, which is immediately downloadable after successful completion. Please note that there is no tutor support, as it is not required. The assessment breakdown is as follows:

  1. Study lesson 1.
  2. When you are ready, take the self-assessment test. Retake until you reach the required level of learning.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the following lessons.
  4. Take the final assessment.
  5. Download your certificate of completion, with your name on it.

Now you are ready to stand out at a job interview, or put your newly acquired knowledge to use straightaway. 

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Plant Taxonomy Short Course Plant Taxonomy Short Course
£99.00 In stock