Identifying Flowering Plants


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Gain skills and confidence in identifying wild and garden varieties.

Don’t know your daisies from your dahlias? Or maybe you have good general plant knowledge but want to be able to distinguish between similar varieties.

We have a huge range of flowering plants in the UK, and they form a crucial part of our ecosystem. Learn about plant structures and terminology and get started with keys, field guides and microscope work. No more random guessing while flicking through the field guide!

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

Key information

  • Duration: three days
  • Upcoming date: Fri 26th – Sun 28th June 2020
  • Start and finish times: starts at 10am
  • Fees: £120; concessions £100 (paid via Aberystwyth University). Optional full board accommodation at CAT £130 (shared) or £170 (single)
  • Includes: tuition, all materials
  • What to bring: waterproof clothing is recommended

What you will learn

The essential skills developed during this course make it ideal for professional development but also for anyone simply fascinated by plants and ecology.

Examine specimens and become familiar with the huge variety of flower and leaf forms, and the equally huge and often confusing terminology used in the wild flower books and ‘keys’.

Covering both wild and garden plants, we will focus on common species to gain an understanding of the terminology involved. You will be given the confidence to use ‘flora’ and ‘keys’ and identifying unknown flowering plant species on your own.

Emphasis will be on practical skills, with examination and identification taking place mainly in the laboratory but with excursions around the CAT grounds to put new found knowledge to the test!

The course will be run as a practical workshop where you will be shown how to use a stereo microscope and use reference texts and keys to identify specimens.

By the end of the course you should be able to tackle the identification of unknown specimens and recognise a good range of common species.

Complete beginners will be challenged but no prior knowledge is required to tackle the course. Students with some previous knowledge or familiarity with general plant identification terminology will be at a slight advantage. You will be encouraged to ask questions and share ideas, to learn not only from the tutor but also from other members of the group.

This course is run at CAT by Aberystwyth University and can be taken as part of a Higher Education Certificate in Field Ecology. Please book the course through Aberystwyth University online or by calling 01970 621 580 before booking accommodation at CAT.

Meet your tutors

Margaret Howells

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