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NC State Extension

Understanding Plants

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.


June 7 – July 12

About the Class

This online, introduction to botany course introduces you to the language needed to describe and identify plants. It was designed as a precursor to our plant ID series, but can be taken at any point.

Learn to identify plants on your own schedule, there are no set times that you must participate. Photo-stories, video presentations, online fact pages, an e-book, flash-cards, vocabulary games, mystery plants and hundreds of beautiful images will help you learn learn to describe plant flowers, leaves, stems and fruit.

This is an asynchronous, fully online, self-paced, non-credit course. You may participate anywhere that you have access to the internet. You will have access to the course resources 24/7 for the entire 6 weeks of the class and for 6 months after the course ends. There are no required presentations or any set times that you will need to meet online.

In addition to the course fee, you may choose to purchase an optional print copy of the online e-book that is included in the course.


Generally offered in July and October.


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