Relying on picture books to identify plants? Uncertain about the identifications? This 4-day course will teach technical skills to equip you with a deeper understanding of the science for accurate identification of native and introduced vascular Australian plants. The course is targeted at professionals and postgraduate students wanting to develop or refresh skills essential for botanical research, survey and environmental assessment.

When/where: 27 – 30 August 2019, 9 am – 5 pm. UNSW Sydney, Kensington.

Subject matter:

  • plant morphology and terminology needed to understand botanical descriptions
  • interpretation and use of identification keys, focusing on the Sydney flora
  • key characters for recognising major plant families
  • intensive practical sessions in specimen identification via lab-based workshops 
  • personalised supervision by experienced plant identification specialists
  • methods for collection and preservation of plant specimens
  • use of herbaria and web tools to support identifications, inspection of John T. Waterhouse herbarium

Required text  

Pellow, B., Henwood, M. and Carolin, R. (2009). Flora of the Sydney Region. Fifth Edition. Sydney University Press, Sydney.

Available at a reduced price during course registration ($60.00) or directly from Sydney University Press $80.00. 

Optional texts

Clarke, I. and Lee, H. (2001). Name That Flower: The Identification of Flowering Plants. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Jacobs, SWL., Whalley, RDB. and Wheeler, DJB. (2008). Grasses of New South Wales. Fourth Edition. The University of New England, Armidale.

Course leaders

David Keith, Professor of Botany, UNSW Sydney, author of 'Ocean shores to desert dunes: the native vegetation of NSW and the ACT', with more than 30 years experience in vegetation survey and teaching plant identification.

Belinda Pellow, Director Flora, AMBS Ecology and Heritage, author of the fifth edition of the ‘Flora of the Sydney Region’, with more than 30 years experience in teaching plant identification and herbarium curation.

Frank Hemmings, Curator, John T. Waterhouse Herbarium, UNSW. Extensive experience in plant identification for undergraduate teaching, research support and herbarium curation.


Registration fee: $1100.00 incl. GST (professionals), $375.00 incl. GST (registered students, limited to 10 places). Includes course manual, plant dissection kit (hand lens, fine forceps, ruler), lab facilities, morning & afternoon tea. Successful completion of the course will be acknowledged with a certificate of attendance. Maximum of 30 places available. Venue information will be sent after registration.

Enquiries : 

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