Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
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 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:
A. understand botanical and horticultural terms.
B. identify decorative grasses characteristics.
C. identify decorative grasses in the field during field trips.
D. compare and contrast decorative grasses features and cultural needs in different landscape situations.
E. demonstrate, by examination and/or project, knowledge of the use of decorative grasses presented in class in landscape and horticultural applications.

Course Content

A. Review of botanical and horticultural terms, including identification of the following characteristics:
1. Stem
2. Sheath
3. Flower head
4. Form
5. Growth habit
B. Detailed description of decorative grass characteristics
1. Sod forming grasses
2. Clumping grasses
C. 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
D. Cultural practices related to successful plant growth
1. Planting
2. Disease and insect pest control
3. Propagation
E. 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. Esthetic uses
10. Shelter
11. Environmental uses
12. Wildlife value
13. Poisonous

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

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

Method(s) of Evaluation

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

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lectures.
B. Discussions.
C. Class activities.
D. Preparing designs.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

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


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

A. 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