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Plant Identification: Summer & Autumn

ARCH 081

Plant Identification: Summer & Autumn
Duration & Units

16 Weeks


A study of ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, bulbs, succulents, cacti, and grasses with outstanding interests during the summer and autumn seasons.

Plants are key components of landscape designs, which provide numerous benefits to people, the environment, and wildlife. To use them successfully, landscape architects need to understand how they grow, what helps plants thrive, and how they are used in the landscape. This course studies ornamental trees and plants that thrive in California and more specifically, the Bay Area. Until recently, landscape design focused on ornamentals that, in hindsight, were not necessarily well-suited for periods of drought and conservative maintenance practices. Leading designers have been shifting toward a clearer understanding of local microclimates and sustainable operations. Today, we see a migration toward modern designs utilizing native, Mediterranean, and other drought-tolerant species found globally. By contrast, higher water-consuming plants that require excessive maintenance are designed into limited spaces. The use of native species by landscape architects encourages a localized sense of place while introducing non-native species allows for unusual, aesthetic, and themed interests. Learning the scientific names of all species is mandatory. Studies will emphasize growth habits, cultural requirements, maintenance, suitability for landscape use, and the ecology of plant communities.

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