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)
Advisory: HORT 15 strongly recommended.
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 ornamental grasses presented by botanical and common names.
  • Compare and contrast ornamental grass features and cultural need.


Identification, taxonomy, habits of growth, cultural and environmental requirements of ornamental grasses grown in California. Emphasis on the use and maintenance of these monocots. 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 decorative grasses.
  3. Identify decorative grasses in the field during field trips.
  4. Compare and contrast features of decorative grasses and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
  5. Demonstrate, by examination and/or project, knowledge of the use of decorative grasses presented in class in landscape and horticultural applications.

Course Content

  1. Review of botanical and horticultural terms, including identification of the following characteristics:
    1. Stem
    2. Sheath
    3. Flower head
    4. Form
    5. Growth habit
  2. Detailed description of decorative grass characteristics
    1. Sod forming grasses
    2. Clumping grasses
  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 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. Proper use in landscape and horticultural applications
    1. Sun/shade
    2. Soil type
    3. Moisture requirements
    4. Color
    5. Form
    6. Texture
    7. Edible
    8. Functional concerns
    9. Aesthetic uses
    10. Shelter
    11. Environmental uses
    12. Wildlife value
    13. Poisonous

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 ornamental grasses (identification, growth habits, etc.)
Documented active participation which furthers student knowledge of ornamental grasses and their uses

Method(s) of Instruction

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

Class activities
Preparing designs

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Brown, Lauren. Grasses, Sedges, Rushes: An Identification Guide. 2020.

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

  1. Reading assignments include:
    1. Researching up to 15 plant species per week (approx. 20 pages) in representative texts
    2. Review of Foothill Horticulture Plant Database


Ornamental Horticulture