Print Version

Effective: Summer 2017

Advisory: Advisory: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in HORT 15 strongly recommended; not open to students with credit in HORT 51E.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
2 hours lecture. (24 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Identify ground covers and vines presented by botanical and common names.
  • Compare and contrast ground covers and vines features and cultural need.
Description -
Identification, taxonomy, habits of growth, cultural and environmental requirements of woody and herbaceous ground covers and vines grown in California. Emphasis on the use and maintenance of evergreen and deciduous plants used as ground covers, vines, or espaliers in ornamental landscapes. Plants are observed in class, on campus, and at off-site locations.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Recall the botanical and common names of at least 75 ground covers and vines and the terms used for plant identification.
  2. Recall the appearance and adaptation and use of at least 75 ground covers and vines.
  3. Compare and contrast ground covers and vines features and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
  4. Identify how the plants can be used in the landscape.
  5. Recognize the variety of ways ground covers and vines are utilized by cultures around the world.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Horticultural classroom with multi-media projection system; campus arboretum.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Review of botanical and horticultural names of covered plants and the terms necessary for plant identification.
  2. Detailed appearance of 75 or more ground covers and vines from around the U.S. and world, including identification of the following characteristics:
    1. Leaf type
    2. Fruit
    3. Bark
    4. Form
    5. Growth habit
  3. Identify the cultural practices related to successful plant growth.
    1. Planting
    2. Disease and insect pest control
    3. Propagation
    4. Pruning
    5. Adaptation
    6. Sun/shade
    7. Soil type
    8. Moisture requirements
    9. Soil pH
    10. Wildlife habitat
    11. Pest harboring
  4. Relationship of plants covered in the course to landscape design practices, including:
    1. Color
    2. Form
    3. Texture
    4. Line
    5. Edible
    6. Functional concerns
    7. Aesthetic uses
    8. Wildlife value
    9. Poisonous
  5. Discussion of how plants can be used for different purposes by other cultures.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Design project
  2. Written midterm exam on use of plants in design situations
  3. Written final exam on use of plants in design situations
  4. Preparation of a plant walk that locates and identifies 15 course plants
Representative Text(s) -
Sunset. Sunset Western Garden Book. 9th ed. Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Publishing Company, 2012.

Disciplines -
Ornamental Horticulture
Method of Instruction -
  1. Field observation of plants.
  2. Lectures on plant characteristics.
  3. Discussions regarding use and care of plants.
  4. Assigned reading activities.
  5. Self-guided research.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Typical reading assignments will include researching up to 15 plant species per week (approximately 20 pages of reading) in representative texts. Reading assignments will also include review of Foothill Hort Plant Database.