Florida Native Landscaping Class Starting 1/11/12 at Ft. Pierce

The Mexican firebush, Gumbo-limbo tree, and stokes aster may not seem similar but all three plants are featured in either of two botanic gardens situated at the University of Florida/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce. The plants are native to Florida, require a minimum amount of care and were carefully selected and strategically placed for high aesthetic value.

More than 100 plants will be studied in “Florida Native Landscaping,” an upper division environmental horticulture course, the plants may be used in a wide array of landscapes. Offered to degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students at the UF Fort Pierce campus, many industry professionals, nursery owners and state employees have completed the course.

Registration for “Florida Native Landscaping” is taking place now for spring semester 2012. The course will begin Wednesday, Jan. 11, 3:30 until 6:30 p.m., and will continue each Wednesday through mid-April. “Florida Native Landscaping” is offered as both an undergraduate course, as well as a graduate-level course. Graduate students who enroll will complete an additional project.

Dr. Sandy Wilson
The course is designed to introduce students with a plant science background to a wide array of native plant species used in Florida landscapes, according to Sandy Wilson, who will instruct the course. Wilson, who has garnered multiple national teaching awards, holds a doctorate in plant physiology. She devotes equal amounts of her faculty time to teaching courses and to research projects.

Each week, students will participate in lectures and laboratory work that will cover plant nomenclature and taxonomy, native plant requirements, propagation, environmental issues and native landscape design and implementation. Portions of the course will take place in the center’s 1-acre “IRREC Teaching Gardens”, and the half-mile-long “Linear Garden,” both outdoor gardens planned and implemented by students of environmental horticulture. Wilson said,
“This is a very popular course every time I teach it with direct applications as we learn how to create environmentally sound, aesthetic landscapes that benefit our wildlife.”

Dr. Sandy Wilson is a prominent environmental horticulturalist nationally recognized for her research programs and innovative teaching skills in classroom, laboratory and distance education platforms. Her research focuses on characterizing the invasive potential of ornamental plants, and native plant physiology, propagation and production.

Recently, Dr. Wilson obtained a grant with which to produce material for newly created web-based lectures by statewide native experts specifically for this course. In addition, she is co-inventor of a new multiple-key entry online key for identifying plant families.

Prospective degree and non-degree seeking students may register for courses that will be held at the Indian River Research and Education Center, located at 2199 South Rock Road in Fort Pierce.

To enroll in “Florida Native Landscaping” or for more information about University of Florida course and degree offerings at the Fort Pierce location, contact Coordinator of Student Support Services Jackie White, at (772) 468-3922, extension 148, or by e-mail at jkwhite@ufl.edu or on the web at: www.irrec.ifas.ufl.edu. For specific questions about the course or materials contact Dr. Sandra Wilson at: sbwilson@ufl.edu The course website provides information, including the course syllabus, plant list, review activities, plant images, and recommended native book references.


daisy g said…
Sounds like a great program! Someday...
Anonymous said…
Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.
my webpage - gardens

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