Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2
Hours: 2 lecture per week (24 total per quarter)
Advisory: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in HORT 15 strongly recommended; not open to students with credit in HORT 51D.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify California Native Plants presented by botanical and common names.
  • Compare and contrast California Native Plants features and cultural need.


Identification, taxonomy, habits of growth, cultural and environmental requirements of plants native to California landscapes. Emphasis on a wide variety of native species including trees, shrubs, ground covers, and herbaceous plants. Plants are observed via media and physical observation.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Recall the botanical and common names of at least 100 California native plants and the terms used for plant identification.
B. Recall the appearance and adaptation and use of at least 100 California native plants.
C. Compare and contrast California native plant features and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
D. Identify how the plants can be used in the landscape.
E. Recognize the similarities of California native plants to other climates around the world and how indigenous native cultures used plants.

Course Content

A. Review of botanical and horticultural names of covered plants and the terms necessary for plant identification.
B. Detailed appearance of 100 or more California native plants from around the state, including identification of the following characteristics:
1. Leaf type
2. Fruit
3. Bark
4. Form
5. Growth habit
C. Identify the cultural practices related to successful plant growth.
1. Planting
2. Disease and insect pest control
3. Propagation
4. Pruning
5. Adaptation
6. Sun/shade
7. Soil type
8. Moisture requirements
9. Soil pH
10. Wildlife habitat
11. Pest harboring
D. Relationship of plants covered in the course to landscape design practices, including:
1. Color
2. Form
3. Texture
4. Line
5. Edible
6. Functional concerns
7. Aesthetic uses
8. Wildlife value
9. Poisonous
E. Discussion of how plants can be used for different purposes by native California cultures and similarities to plants in similar climatic regions around the world.

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Native plant collections on and off campus.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Weekly identification quizzes
B. Written midterm exam on characteristics and use of plants in design situations
C. Written final exam on use of plants in design situations

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Field observation of plants.
B. Lectures on plant characteristics.
C. Discussions regarding use and care of plants.
D. Read assigned reading activities.
E. Perform self-guided research.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Sunset. Sunset Western Garden Book. 9th ed. Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Publishing Company, 2012.

Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press, 2005. (This text is a seminal work in the field of native plants.)


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Typical reading assignments will include researching up to 10 plant species per week (approximately 20 pages of reading) in representative text and similar text books, and research/reading of websites related to native plants (approximately 5 pages per week).



Ornamental Horticulture