Course Title: Collect and classify plants

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: AGRI5021C

Course Title: Collect and classify plants

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5305 - Diploma of Conservation and Land Management

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4309

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nevil Schultz is the Teacher for this course

+61 3 9925 4221

Room: 51.07.05

Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

There are none

Course Description

This unit covers the process of collecting and identifying plants using taxonomic keys and the preserving of plant specimens and defines the standard required to: collect plant specimens; note the location, characteristics and occurrence of specimens at the point of collection; clean, preserve, mount and label plant specimens; use a plant key to identify plants against the botanical description of the species; label preserved specimens.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

AHCPCM502A Collect and classify plants


1.Prepare for plant collecting

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Purpose and objectives for collecting range of plants is confirmed.
1.2. Area, location and/or habitat for collecting are defined.
1.3. Resources to assist in plant location and identification are determined and prepared.
1.4. Equipment required for collecting and preserving specimens is determined and prepared.
1.5. Licences and/or permission to collect specimens are sought from landowner or managing agency.
1.6. Range of likely operating conditions, hazards and difficult/sensitive environments are assessed for impact on collecting and preserving specimens.
1.7. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) hazards associated with plant collecting are identified.


2. Collect plant specimens

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Collecting ethics are observed when selecting specimens for picking.
2.2. Relevant information about the specimen, its characteristics and occurrence is entered into a field note book and location coordinates are noted.
2.3. Specimen collected provides adequate material for identification and preserving.
2.4. Specimens are correctly tagged and stored for later identification.
2.5. Appropriate OHS legislative requirements and work practices are followed.


3. Preserve specimens

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Preservation of specimen is undertaken while still fresh.
3.2. Specimen is cleaned and prepared for preserving according to enterprise guidelines.
3.3. Preserving of specimen carried out using either pressing or drying techniques.
3.4. Dried specimen is mounted and labelled with accurate information from notebook.


4. Identify plant specimen

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Resources are identified and accessed to assist in identification.
4.2. The basic characteristics of a plant are identified and documented.
4.3. Relevant plant key is used to identify plant.
4.4. Plant identity is confirmed against botanical description of species.

Learning Outcomes

This is a competency based course with learning outcomes embedded in the competencies

Details of Learning Activities

Use of taxonomic guides such as current field guides & manuals, Determination of Taxonomic Hierarchies, Observation & Recording of Physiological Adaptations and Plant Anatomy,  Describing and Recording  the Fine & Gross Structure of Plants in the Laboratory,

The use of on-line & CD ROM identification tools, Describing plants and plant groups using nomenclature rules, Compilation of a Glossary of Plant Anatomy Terms, Development of Identification Skills Using Field Guides, Use of Standard Plant Keys & Random Access

Keys, Classifying Plant Specimens in the Laboratory, Identifying Plant Specimens in the Field, Estimating Risks in the workplace & field when identifying and collecting plants (OHS), Use of suitable Personal Protective Equipment when collecting plants. Using &

documenting oral communication to negotiate permission to collect plants, Research legislation covering the protection of plants,  The employment of  safe practices in finding, storing  and collecting plants,  Selecting and using appropriate plant collection equipment,

Practicing plant hygiene principles in handling and collection of plants, Collection of Plants on Private Land and/or Crown Land, Preserving & Storage of Plant Specimens, Compilation of Field Herbaria, Design and Compilation of Workplace Herbaria. 

Teaching Schedule

2013 Dates

Collect & Classify Plants

Class DateTopic Prac/Activity AssessmentDate Due12 FebPlant Physiology 1

    Intro to Field Guides, other requisites for field work.


  19 Feb Plant Physiology 2   26 Feb Field Herbarium Collection Techniques   5 March Anglesea Plant Community ANGLESEA FIELD WEEK  12 March Plant Morphology 1   19 March Plant Morphology 2 Vascular Arrangements in Plants Assessment 1 Plant Collection Preparation Project due 21 March

28 March-  3 April

  MID SEMESTER  BREAK   9 April Plant Taxonomy 1 - Native Plant Phyla

 Plant Keys 1

The Use of Simplified Plant Keys





16 April Plant Taxonomy 2 - Native Plant Families

 Plant Keys 2

Random Access & On-line keys


   23 April Plant Taxonomy 3 - Native Plant Genera  Assessment 2 National Park Field Herbarium Report  25 April 30 April Quiz 1 in-class Covers 9 -23 April Asst 4(1)

30 April

 7 May Research Plant Collection Sites, Record Contacts, Document communication seeking permission to collect plants at a site.  14 May Physical Habitat Type 1 Plants in Arid Zones   21 May Physical Habitat Type 2 Temperate Plants   28 May  Physical Habitat Type 3 Rainforest   4 June Quiz 2 in-class Covers 14 - 28 May Asst 4(2) 4 Jun

11 June

 Assessment 3 Preparation OHS legislative requirements and Codes of Practice exercise hazard identification and  17 June - 7 July   MID-YEAR BREAK  9 JulyAssessment 3 PreparationOHS & Ethics of Plant Collection exercise  16 July Assessment 3 Launchrisk assessment and control calculation  23 July  Eucalypts and close relatives Identification of Eucalypts and close relatives using a detailed plant key  30 JulyWattlesWattle Identification  6 Aug 

 Using Biological Keys for Major  Australian Plant Families

   13 Aug Revision for Quiz 3Assignment 3 Major Plant Collection Progress Report  20 Aug   Quiz 3 in-classCovers 23 July - 6 Aug Asst 4(3) 20 Aug 27 AugField Trip  Using Plant Keys to Identify Urban Plants  3 Sept Vegetation Associations in Coastal Sites   10 Sept  Identifying Plants in Montane Plant Communities    17 Sept  Final Review of    24 Sept  MID SEMESTER BREAK   1 Oct  Weed Plant Communities  Assessment 3 3 Oct 8 Oct Native Grassland Communities    15 Oct  Remnant Grassland Field Trip   22 Oct  Revision for Final Quiz   29 Oct Quiz 4  in-class Covers 3 Sep - 8 Oct Assessment 4 finalised Quiz 4(4)  29 Oct

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Field Guide Pocket book: Costermans, L. Trees of Victoria and Adjoining Areas


Costermans, L. Native Trees and Shrubs of South Eastern Australia

Clarke, I. & Lee, H. Name That Flower

Flora of Melbourne, Australian Plants Soceity Maroondah, Inc.

Other Resources

An A5 sized logbook with blank pages should be obtained in the first week of classes. It should be taken and used on all field trips throughout the year. It should be clearly divided into a section devoted to each course in the program.

It is also recommended that course participants obtain a simple 10X pocket hand lens or pocket magnifier for use during the year.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment fo this course may include reports, project work, individual assignments, practical assessment and tests

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1

Plant Collection Preparation Project (CA/NYC)

Assessment 2

National Park Field Herbarium Collection and Field Report (CA/NYC)

Assessment 3

Major Assignment: Workplace Reference Herbarium. This incorporates a component where negotiation with a land manager to gain permission to collect plants is documented. This assessment is graded: CHD, CDI, CC, CA, NYC

Assessment 4

Four Quizzes evenly spread across the course on classifying native & exotic plants using field guides, references & plant keys (CA/NYC)

Assessment Matrix

Element 1 2 3 4

Assessment 1


X  X    

Assessment 2


  X  X  X

Assessment 3


   X X  X

Assessment 4



X indicates coverage in that assessment. A Detailed Matrix that maps Assessments onto Performance Criteria in each element for this course will be lodged in the SLPS CALM Program log.

Other Information

Nominal Hours for the Course: 120   comprising:

58 Hours - Classroom Contact

32 Hours - Evaluation, Research & Completion of Assignments

20 Hours - Field Work

8 Hours - Workplace Visits

2 Hours - out of class student-teacher consultation

Course Overview: Access Course Overview