Taxonomy is the science that underpins accurate plant classification and naming.
Taxonomy is not taught often enough today – a fact widely recognized by those who work with plants at all levels, from tradesmen to professionals – gardeners, landscapers, nurserymen, crop farmers, arborists and others – through to scientists, environmental managers and farmers.
This course fills a very important need, and for those who do it; provides a significant advantage over those who have not properly learned the basics of plant taxonomy.
Why study this Plant Taxonomy course?
If you have an interest in the biology, classification, and naming of plants, Careerline’s online Plant Taxonomy course is designed for you. Whether you want to upskill to pursue a new career path, take up a new hobby, or get a head start on future studies, studying with Careerline will positively impact your future. You will be able to apply the knowledge learned in this course to your career or hobby in plant biology, horticulture, or landscaping. This will create new opportunities for professional development and career advancement.
What will you learn?
The Plant Taxonomy course provides students with an introduction to the theory and practice of taxonomy. You will study the anatomy of plants, or phytotomy, at various stages of their life cycles. Students learn to record and analyse the descriptions of plants and other taxonomic techniques.
In addition, you will learn how to differentiate between families of plants using phylogeny. These plant families include primitive plants, seed plants, land plants, monocotyledons, and
Who is this online Plant Taxonomy course for?
Careerline’s Plant Taxonomy course is designed for practicing or aspiring plant biologists, horticulturalists, agriculturalists, and garden landscapers. Students are provided with the skills required to develop an in-depth, specialist knowledge of taxonomy that will help them advance in their careers.
The course is also designed for anyone with an interest in pursuing tertiary study in horticulture or plant biology. You will be introduced to concepts covered in university and vocational courses, helping you feel more prepared and confident as you continue your learning journey.
- Explain how plants are classified, including both benefits of and contradictions within the scientific system as followed by horticulturists and botanical scientists across different parts of the world
- Examine and describe parts of a plant, both sexual and asexual, at various stages of the plant’s life cycle.
- Process descriptive information about a plant using taxonomic techniques that involve processing that data to create a better understanding and/or record of that information.
- Explain a variety of tools used in taxonomic work.
- Explain the taxonomy of land plants that do not produce seeds.
- Explain taxonomy of a range of significant, seed producing plants, including gymnosperms.
- Explain the relationship between different types of plants (i.e. phylogeny), and how molecular information impacts on this in taxonomic considerations.
- Differentiate between at least 10 different families of monocotyledon plants, through inspection and identification of a range of commonly shared characteristics within that family.
- Differentiate between at least 10 different families of dicotyledon plants which predominantly contain lower growing soft wooded plants or herbs; through inspection and identification of a range of commonly shared characteristics within that family.
- Differentiate between at least 10 different families of dicotyledon plants which predominantly contain woody trees and shrubs; through inspection and identification of a range of commonly shared characteristics within that family.
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Detailed Course Outline
This course is made up of a number of lessons or units. Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online. Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.
There are 10 lessons in this course:
Introduction to Taxonomy
- Scientific Vs. Vernacular Names
- Protein Analysis
- Ranks and Language
- Ranks of Classification – KPCOFGS
- Plant Phyla
- Plant Families
- Genus and Species
- Latin Names
- Gardener’s Ranks
- International Code of Botanical Nomenclature
- The Basic Ideas
- 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
- Trademarks & Patents
- Plant Breeders Rights
- The Rise of Molecular Data
- The Impact of Molecular Data
Describing Plant Parts
- Compound and Simple Leaves
- Leaf Shapes
- Leaf Margins
- Leaf Structure
- Leaf Arrangements
- Leaf Venation
- Leaf Modifications
- Root Modifications
- The Inflorescence
- Dry Fruits
- Fleshy Fruits
- Compound Fruits
- A Key to the Main Types of Fruits
Recording & Analysing Plant Descriptions
- HERBARIA – Collecting and Preserving a Plant
- Fresh Material
- Arranging Plants for Pressing
- Pressing Difficult Specimens
- The Drying Process
- Herbarium Specimens
- The Problem of Colour
- The Law Relating to Plant Collecting
- Describing a Plant on Paper
- The Equipment You Need
- Botanical illustration
- Floral Diagrams
- Floral Diagram Technique
- Floral Formulae
- DNA Barcoding
- Process of Using DNA Barcoding for Plant Identification
- Applications of DNA Barcoding
- CHEMICAL ANALYSIS (Chemotaxonomy)
- The advantages of using keys and their limitations
- Using a key
- The rules when making a key
- Lamiaceae (Simplified Key)
- Rules When Writing Couplets
- Best Practice Points
- Making a key
- Why botanical families are so useful when identifying plants
- The Bryophytes
- VASCULAR PLANTS or tracheophytes
- Vascular Tissue and Why it is Important in Evolution of Life on Earth
- A glossary to help you
- The Lycopodiopsida (or Lycophytes)
- Clubmosses – Plants in the family Lycopodiaceae
- Quillworts – Plants in the Family Isoetaceae
- Spike Mosses or Lesser Clubmosses – Plants in the Family Selaginellaceae
- the euphyllophytes – the seed plants, horsetails, and ferns
- The Seed Plants
- The Ferns
- The gymnosperms
- The cycads – 1 order, 3 families, 10 genera, 285 species
- Ginkgo – 1 order, 1 families, 1 genus, 1 species
- The Gnetidae – 3 orders, 3 families, 3 genera, 71 species
- Welwitschiaceae – 1 Genus, 1 Species
- Gnetaceae – 1 Genus, 30 Species
- The conifers – 3 orders, 6 families, 69 genera, 591 species
- The Conifers’ Life History
- The Cycads, Ginkgo, and Gnetidae — How they Differ from the Conifers
- The Six Families of Conifers
- The Angiosperms
- Flowers and Why they are Important in Evolution of Life on Earth
- The Flowering Plant’s Life History
- The Diversity of Angiosperms
Phylogeny of Land Plants
- Darwin’s Tree of Life Metaphor – The Hidden Bond of Descent
- Why Use DNA Sequences for Classification?
- The Principle of Monophyly
- The Phylogeny of Land Plants
- The major changes in flowering plant taxonomy
- The End of the Monocot-Dicot Split
- Finally, Some Resolution Within the Monocots
- Some Surprises
- Name Changes Resulting from the Increase in Evidence
- When Applying the Principle of Monophyly Results in Name Changes
- What we can learn from phylogenies
- Summary of Important Families
- The Monocots — SIGNIFICANT FAMILIES
- Aizoaceae (syn. Ficoidaceae)
Dicotyledons (Part I)
- Important Dicot Families
- Key to Selected Angiosperm Families
- Lower-growing Soft-wooded Plants
Dicotyledons (Part 2)
- Fabaceae – Papilionoideae, Mimosoideae, Caesalpinoideae
When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.
Barbara Tremain BSc. (Hons) Horticulture, RHS Adv. Cert,. RHS General, City & Guilds Garden Design, Permaculture Level 3 (UK)
Barbara brings to Careerline a wide range of horticultural experience and knowledge Barbara has a keen interest in herbalism, edible wild plants and has lead into studies of many plant based complementary medicinal systems, qualification as a Bach Flower remedy practitioner and studying Ethnobotany. Barbara has practiced and studied horticulture as well as combining it with her love of travel in many countries including the UK, US and Australia and has also studied Permaculture and runs her own horticulture business. Within the past two years she have also worked for Groundwork SW with 18-24 year old unemployed people, this work and the mentoring scheme has allowed me to teach informally. It has been a delight to nurture the interests of keen learners in horticulture and garden design. Meanwhile the business has covered a variety of Garden Design projects, from wildflower gardens to seaside situations, and has included some work with Chelsea Gold multi-winner John Moreland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pay in installments?
Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.
Can I study from anywhere in the world?
We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.
Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?
Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.
Do I have to sit an Exam?
No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.
Do you have set start dates?
There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.