Botany 113: Plant Identification and Classification††††††††††† Syllabus††††††† Spring 2009


Instructor: Dr. Lisa Carlson


Office: NSC 318C; 360-736-9391x324

Office hours: W 1-1:50, Th 12-1:50, F 11-12:50


Lecture:MTWTh 9-9:50††† Room: NSC 111

Lab: Monday 1-3:50Location: NSC 307

Text: Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, by Pojar & MacKinnon, and Vascular Plant Taxonomy, by Walters and Keil

Web page: (subject to change)




Lecture Topics and readings



30 March

Introduction, History of Classification and plant names

(Ch 1 all; Ch 2 11-17; Ch 6 87-92, 94-97)

Plant identification key exercise

No lab


6 April


Plant anatomy: vegetative terminology

(Ch 3 25-37)

Introduce plant collection project (Ch 7)

Field trip


13 April


Lecture Exam One Wednesday

Plant anatomy: flower and fruit terminology (Ch 11 190-207)

Field trip


20 April



I.D. Test One: Lists #1-3


27 April


Evolution of flowering plants(Table 6.4)


Field trip


4 May

Lecture Exam Two Wednesday

Plant Families (Ch 12, 14)

Field trip

Preliminary plant collection due Thursday

5 plants pressed and labeled


11 May

Plant Families (Ch 14, 15)

I.D. Test Two: Lists#4-6


18 May

Plant Families (Ch 16)

Lecture Exam Three Thursday

Field trip


25 May

No class Monday

Rare and Endangered Plants

Invasive Plants

No lab


1 June

Ethnobotany and Poisonous plants

Work on plant collection

due Thursday


8 June


Lecture Exam Four during final exam period Thursday

I.D. Test Three: Lists #7-9 and

makeup I.D. test



Course Objectives:††† Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able recognize dozens of native plant species of our region, and have the skills necessary to identify many more.You will also learn plant anatomy, ethnobotany, rare, endangered and exotic invasive plants, and general characteristics of plant families.

Course Requirements


         Each Monday's lecture (later the first week) will be devoted to a new list of ten plants.For each species you will learn descriptions, habitat and range, and sometimes use by early northwest inhabitants, as well as common and scientific names and families.Be prepared to spend lots of time memorizing correctly spelled names of each of our plants!

         Other lecture periods will be devoted to topics relevant to plant systematics, and other issues relevant to native plants.Readings will be from our textbooks in some cases; additional readings may be assigned during the quarter.

         Four lecture exams will be given during the quarter covering lecture material.

         Each student will make a formal plant collection.Detailed instructions will be passed out in class.Each collection will consist of 30 plants, formally pressed, presented and labeled.Most materials for this collection will be provided.

         Field trips will be taken during several lab periods to local habitats, including Seminary Hill; sites will be announced as the season progresses.During field trips you will observe many plants from our lists in their natural environments. Collecting may be allowed during selected field trips; always ask permission before collecting.Attendance is mandatory for four out of five field trips (20 points each), but highly recommended on all field trips.

         Three lab identification tests will be given, one every three weeks as indicated on the schedule.One extra ID test will be given at the end of the quarter as a makeup for those who missed one ID test, or wish to improve their score on a previous test.Only one makeup test will be given.

         Time will be available during lab periods in week 10 and by arrangement outside of class to work on collections or practice ID of plants from class.The Centralia College Herbarium is located in the Biology prep room, next door to our classroom lab, and will be used to aid plant identification.It also provides extensive examples of how to make a plant collection.Our herbarium, a rare resource for a small college, contains thousands of samples, from our region and elsewhere in the country.Some plants are also growing on campus in the Rufus Kiser Native Plant Gardens, temporarily located next to Kemp Hall.



Lecture exams (4 x 50)



decimal grade


Lab ID tests (3 x 50)




95% or higher

Key exercise (20)





Field trip attendance





Preliminary plant collection





Plant collection project





total points







Attendance†† While attendance is not required in lecture classes, it is strongly recommended.If you do miss a lecture, you don't need to inform me.Plan to get notes or special instructions from one of your classmates.

Please Note: Students with disabilities may contact the Director, Center for Disability Services to determine their eligibility for reasonable accommodation.The director's office is located with the Counseling Center in the Student Services Building.

Centralia College provides equal opportunity in education and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection under Title 17 of the United States Code.


Food and beverages are NOT ALLOWED in the lab room at any time.