Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
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 51E.
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 ground covers and vines presented by botanical and common names.
  • Compare and contrast ground covers and vines features and cultural need.


Identification, taxonomy, habits of growth, cultural and environmental requirements of woody and herbaceous ground covers and vines grown in California. Emphasis on the use and maintenance of evergreen and deciduous plants used as ground covers, vines, or espaliers in ornamental landscapes. Plants are observed in class, on campus, and at off-site locations.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Recall the botanical and common names of at least 75 ground covers and vines and the terms used for plant identification.
  2. Recall the appearance and adaptation and use of at least 75 ground covers and vines.
  3. Compare and contrast ground covers and vines features and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
  4. Identify how the plants can be used in the landscape.
  5. Recognize the variety of ways ground covers and vines are utilized by cultures around the world.

Course Content

  1. Review of botanical and horticultural names of covered plants and the terms necessary for plant identification
  2. Detailed appearance of 75 or more ground covers and vines from around the U.S. and world, including identification of the following characteristics:
    1. Leaf type
    2. Fruit
    3. Bark
    4. Form
    5. Growth habit
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Discussion of how plants can be used for different purposes by other cultures

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Horticultural classroom with multi-media projection system; campus arboretum.
2. When taught online, on-going access to computer with email and internet access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Design project
Written midterm exam on use of plants in design situations
Written final exam on use of plants in design situations
Preparation of a plant walk that locates and identifies 15 course plants

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Field observation of plants
Lectures on plant characteristics
Discussions regarding use and care of plants
Assigned reading activities
Self-guided research

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Sunset. Sunset Western Garden Book, 9th ed.. 2012.

This book is the seminal text even though it is older than five years.

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

Typical reading assignments will include researching up to 15 plant species per week (approximately 20 pages of reading) in representative texts. Reading assignments will also include review of Foothill Hort Plant Database.


Ornamental Horticulture