Sustainable Plants for a Changing World

This lecture course will focus on the nature of the interaction between plants and the environments in which they grow. It will cover both the native and non-native plants which grow in forested, designed and unmanaged urban landscapes. Each class will be divided into two parts: a lecture and a \”laboratory session\” featuring plant samples collected from the Arnold Arboretum. The lectures will cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • plant evolution and adaptation
  • plant ecology and environmental interactions
  • plant classification and identification
  • plant form and function
  • sustainability and maintenance strategies for designed landscapes
  • vegetation responses to large-scale environmental disturbances
  • commercial nursery practices and ornamental horticulture

In the lab sessions, students will look at fresh plant specimens and learn the distinguishing characteristics of important plant families. The plant pallet will focus on species which can be cultivated under urban conditions with a minimum input of maintenance resources (i.e. sustainable). The following plant life forms will be covered:

  • angiosperm trees
  • shrubs
  • vines
  • herbaceous perennials
  • grasses and bamboos
  • gymnosperms (conifers and Ginkgo)
  • annuals (including vegetables)