Course Description

Our Master Gardener courses are online, independent study courses. Students work at their our pace and have 6 months, per course, to complete all assignments and quizzes. Students have six months to complete the course, but your schedule for completion is up to you. Students who are most successful with this approach to learning are those who are self-directed and self-disciplined.

Plant Identification and use will assist you to become familiar with the rules of plant identification and nomenclature. At the same time, you will learn about plant morphology and just what to look at to distinguish one plant from another.  Your key to success in this course will be 'practice makes perfect'.

Course Outline

This class is an introduction to 100 plants grown in Canadian gardens focusing on their identification and use. It includes a guide to botanical nomenclature, the hierarchy of the plant kingdom and plant morphology. You will learn the use of a simple dichotomous key to aid in plant identification.

Topics include:

  • Nomenclature
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Identification and Use
  • Dichotomous Keys

Marking Scheme

Assignment 1 - Invasive Species 5
Term Assignment - Written article or leaflet 25
Plant Anatomy Test 10
Test 1 (After Plant ID Group 3) 15
Test 2 (After Plant ID Group 6) 15
Test 3 (After Plant ID Group 9) 15
Test 4 (includes all 10 groups) 15
Total 100

Successful completion of the course requires a passing grade of 60% in each of the four sections. This is a combination of your grades from your tests and assignments. Students are required to complete all tests and assignments within the course.


Technical Requirements: Internet (High Speed preferred). Reliable compute/laptop.  Basic knowledge of Microsoft Word for submitting assignments. 

Course Dates: Courses start three times a year, October 1, November 15, and February 1st.  The registration deadline is one week prior to the start date of each course. 

Number of Courses: Students are to take ONE course at a time per intake, unless otherwise approved by Extended Learning.  

Refunds: Course refunds are eligible up until the registration deadline.  After the registration deadline, there are no course refunds.  


It is recommended that the Master Gardener Program Courses be taken in the following order:

  1. The Science of Gardening
  2. Maintaining the Garden
  3. Plant ID and Use
  4. The Art of Gardening

Recommended For

Anyone who has a passion or interest in gardening in your backyard or community.

Anyone interested in working towards becoming a Master Gardener within the Master Gardeners of Ontario.

Anyone looking to expand on their gardening knowledge.


"Yes definitely. Great experience and full of helpful hands on experience tips"

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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