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Understanding Plants

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An Introduction to Botany

Longwood Gardens & NC State Logo

Image by Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens, one of the premier public gardens in the world, is partnering with NC State University Department of Horticultural Science to provide a fully-online introduction to botany.


March 11 – April 22, 2024

About the Class

Have you ever wondered what phrases such as “dentate margin” or “palmately compound” mean? Or have you ever been curious about the Latin meaning of plant names? Improve your botanical skills through a study of leaves, stems, flowers, fruits, and nomenclature. Look in detail at the methods, morphology, and terminology used to describe plants throughout the seasons, and gain an understanding of how the plant kingdom is organized and named. This course covers important “groundwork” for anyone hoping to become a better botanist.

Learn the vocabulary of botany on your own schedule! Lecture videos with Longwood staff, flash-cards, vocabulary games, and hundreds of beautiful images will help you learn to describe flowers, leaves, stems, fruit and more. 

This is a fully online, self-paced, non-credit course. You can participate anywhere that you have access to the internet. You will have access to the course resources 24/7 for the entire six weeks of the class and an additional six months after the course ends. There are no required presentations or any set times that you will need to meet online. 

This course counts as a six-week elective towards a Longwood Gardens Certificate in Landscape Design.


Generally offered annually in June.


Fully Online

This is one of four courses on plant identification from Longwood Gardens and North Carolina State University. Below are links to the other classes in the series:

Additional Information