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Effective: Fall 2012

Advisory: Advisory: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in HORT 15 strongly recommended; not open to students with credit in HORT 51D.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
1 hour lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Identify California Native Plants presented by botanical and common names.
  • Compare and contrast California Native Plants features and cultural need.
Description -
Identification, taxonomy, habits of growth, cultural and environmental requirements of plants native to California landscapes. Emphasis on a wide variety of native species including trees, shrubs, ground covers, and herbaceous plants. Plants are observed in lab, on campus, and at off-site locations.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Recall the botanical and common names, appearance, culture, adaptation and use of at least 80 California native plants.
  2. Correctly identify all California native plants presented by botanical and common names.
  3. Compare and contrast California native plants features and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
  4. Recognize horticultural and botanical terms and use them to describe California native plants characteristics and cultural needs.
  5. Demonstrate, on written examinations, knowledge of the terms and nomenclature utilized in the identification of California native plants.
  6. Recognize the variety of ways plants indigenous to California were utilized by native American cultures.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Horticultural laboratory with multi-media projection system; related horticultural facilities. Students provide pruning shears with sheath, plant collecting materials (baggies, labeling tape, knife, plant press, etc.
  2. Native plant collections on and off campus.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Review of botanical and horticultural terms, principles, and approved practices
  2. Detailed description of native plants from California, including identification of the following characteristics:
    1. Leaf type
    2. Fruit
    3. Bark
    4. Form
    5. Growth habit
    6. Propagation methods
  3. Field trips to see mature plant materials in landscape settings and to gather plant samples for identification purposes
  4. Cultural practices related to successful plant growth
    1. Planting
    2. Disease and insect pest control
    3. Propagation
    4. Pruning
    5. Adaptation
  5. Site analysis for horticulturally correct plant selection
    1. Sun/shade
    2. Soil type
    3. Moisture requirements
    4. Soil pH
    5. Wildlife habitat
    6. Resistance to oak root fungus
  6. Relationship of plants covered in the course to landscape design practices including:
    1. Color
    2. Form
    3. Texture
    4. Line
    5. Water conservation
  7. Characteristics of plants
    1. Edible
    2. Functional concerns
    3. Esthetic uses
    4. Shelter
    5. Environmental uses
    6. Wildlife value
    7. Poisonous
  8. State common and botanical name
  9. Native American cultures and their use of indigenous California plants
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Weekly identification quizzes
  2. Written midterm exam on characteristics and use of plants in design situations
  3. Written final exam on use of plants in design situations
Representative Text(s) -
Sunset, Sunset Western Garden Book, Menlo Park, CA, Sunset Publishing Company, 2010.
Bornstein, Carol, Fross, David, and O'Brien, Bart, California Native Plants for the Garden, Los Olivos, CA, Cachuma Press, 2005.

Disciplines -
Environmental Horticulture & Design
Method of Instruction -
  1. Field observation of plants.
  2. Lectures on plant characteristics.
  3. Discussions regarding use and care of plants.
  4. Read assigned reading activities.
  5. Perform self-guided research.
Lab Content -
  1. Site visit to plant locations.
  2. Discussion of plant cultural and design implications.
  3. Photography and documentation of plants.
  4. Trips to local native plant depositories.
  5. Taping leaves and plant identification elements onto museum paper.
  6. Review of use of native plants in urban settings.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Typical reading assignments will include researching up to 10 plant species per week (approximately 20 pages of reading) in representative text and similar text books, and research/reading of websites related to native plants (approximately 5 pages per week)