Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 1
Hours: 12 lecture per quarter (12 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify cacti and succulents presented by botanical and common names.
  • Compare and contrast cacti and succulent features and cultural need.


Identification, taxonomy, habits of growth, cultural and environmental requirements of plants grown in California. Emphasis on the use and maintenance of cacti and succulents with significant design features and landscape uses. Plants are observed via media and physical observation.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Understand botanical and horticultural terms.
  2. Identify characteristics of cacti and succulents from around the world.
  3. Identify cacti and succulents in the field during field trips.
  4. Compare and contrast features of cacti and succulents and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
  5. Demonstrate, by examination and/or project, knowledge of the use of cacti and succulents presented in class in landscape and horticultural applications.
  6. Recognize the variety of ways cacti and succulent plants are utilized by different cultures around the world.

Course Content

  1. Review of botanical and horticultural terms, principles, and approved practices
  2. Detailed description of cacti and succulents from around the U.S. and world, including identification of the following characteristics:
    1. Stem
    2. Fruit
    3. Exterior appearance
    4. Form
    5. Growth habit
  3. Field trips to see mature plant materials in landscape settings and to gather plant samples for identification purposes, including visits to:
    1. College campuses
    2. Stanford Arizona garden
    3. Private and public collections
  4. Cultural practices related to successful plant growth
    1. Planting
    2. Disease and insect pest control
    3. Propagation
  5. Site analysis for horticulturally correct plant selection
    1. Sun/shade
    2. Soil type
    3. Moisture requirements
  6. Relationship of plants covered in the course to landscape design practices, including:
    1. Color
    2. Form
    3. Texture
  7. Characteristics of plants
    1. Edible
    2. Functional concerns
    3. Aesthetic uses
    4. Shelter
    5. Environmental uses
    6. Wildlife value
    7. Poisonous
  8. State common and botanical name

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Horticultural classroom with multi-media projection system; related horticultural facilities.
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:

Field test on cacti and succulents (identification, growth habits, etc.)
Documented active participation which furthers student knowledge of cacti and succulents and their uses

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

Shelf, Ken. Essential Succulents. 2021.

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

  1. Reading assignments include researching up to 15 plant species per week (approx. 20 pages) in representative texts


Ornamental Horticulture