Tallgrass Prairie Center


Botany Beginners - Exploring Iowa's Native Plants

iowa native plant     Iowa native plant - Oxeye   iowa native plant 2

Botany Beginners: Exploring Iowa's Native Plants

At the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center, we identify plants in order to monitor and troubleshoot prairie plantings and evaluate the results of experiments. Also, we just love native plants! In recent years, we have trained undergraduate research students and AmeriCorps service members during a 3-week “Botany Boot Camp.” With the advent of the COVID19 pandemic, we found it necessary to provide their initial training some other way. We thought that others across the region might also want an introductory plant ID course and the opportunity to practice with some expert guidance. We have tried to create a worthwhile learning experience for a broad audience, using a combination of remote teaching strategies.


Who should take this course? 


This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to identify native plants of the tallgrass prairie region, including a few common weeds and woodland species. This course is for beginners, and the emphasis is on learning how to learn the plants, and becoming more self sufficient through guided practice. Once students can learn the names of the plants they are interested in, it can open up a whole new world to explore. Please join us!

  • The course is free for private use and public education.
  • For information on using this course for professional training and continuing education, please contact Laura Jackson.                                                                  
  • Click here for a peek at the syllabus, for details about your instructors, six webinar topics, four virtual field events                                                                                    
  • Required Textbook: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (1989), available at bookstores and online for about $15.00                                                                                             
  • To join the Facebook group, search for "Botany Beginners" and simply request to join the group. It's a place to share photos, questions and answers with instructors and fellow students


Click the button below to find recordings of the webinars:

Botany Beginners 2020 - Webinars


Click the button below to find the homework and quizzes developed for this course:

Botany Beginners 2020 - Homework, Mystery Plant Lists and Quizzes


The Tallgrass Prairie Center wishes to thank Practical Farmers of Iowa and Green Iowa AmeriCorps for their support of this project.

PFI logo      Americorps logo


And, a special thanks to the financial support of the Friends of the Tallgrass Prairie Center. If you would like to support Botany Beginners courses, click here to access this secure online giving form through the UNI Foundation, and select "Tallgrass Prairie Center." 

You may also mail a check payable to the UNI Foundation, Attn: Friends of the Tallgrass Prairie Center, and addressed to UNI Foundation, 121 Commons, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0239.


Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.


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