Certificate in Native Plant Studies Program

Adult & Family Classes | Discovery Field Trips | Children's Summer Camps

The Certificate in Native Plant Studies program has as its goal, to raise awareness of the importance of native plants and their value to our environment. Its curriculum consists of core classes, electives, field trips and volunteer service, which together provide a well-rounded education balanced among botany, taxonomy, ecology, conservation and uses of our native Southeastern flora. Classes are held at The Gardens and at other appropriate locations

Program events will be offered throughout the year. Students may begin their earning their certificate at any time, with any course. Certificates will be awarded to those who fulfill requirements within three years, however – anyone is welcome to register for any of the classes.


Click here for a PDF of brochure.

Click here to view some of the past class offerings in the program.

For more information about registration:

Contact 205.414.3950

For more information about the program:
Contact Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion at 205.414.3985 or jmanion@bbgardens.org.

Current Students: Volunteer Service Hours Form


Upcoming Classes, Field Trips and Volunteer Opportunities


NOTE: If you are unable to register using one of the Register Online buttons below, the class may be full,

contact Rona Walters at 205.414.3950 or rwalters@bbgardens.org.

Due to high call and email volume you should expect a response within 24-48 hours.


Alabama’s Amazing Ecology (core)
Instructor: Scot Duncan, Ph.D.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, November 22 | 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.
$80 Members | $90 Non-Members

With sixty-four types of terrestrial ecosystems shaped by an unusual climate and rich geological history, Alabama's native plants number nearly 3,000 species. They are an important part of our state's biodiversity, which ranks fifth in the nation overall. This class explains how ecosystems work, reviews how they are classified and mapped, and gives an overview of the state’s ecological diversity. An easy hike through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens – with a focus on Alabama’s endemic plants – will illustrate many of the in-class concepts.


Understanding Botanical Names (elective)
Instructor: John Manion
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, December 6 |12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members

Many people avoid using botanical names for a variety of reasons. Because these names are in a foreign language, they can be intimidating and overwhelming, hence they are often avoided. Learn how fascinating, enlightening and humorous botanical names can be! You’ll be surprised how much you can discern about a plant based only on its botanical name. Botanical nomenclature topics to be discussed will be their history, formatting, pronunciation, common prefixes and suffixes, recommended references and much more.


Introduction to Botany (core)
Instructor: Tom Diggs, Ph.D.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, December 13 | 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.
$80 Members | $90 Non-Members

This class will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of botany, including plant tissues, anatomy of the major vegetative and reproductive structures of the plant body, global plant habitats, basic botanical terminology through the use of a key and a discussion of Alabama plant diversity. Ater the classroom portion of this class, we will walk out into The Gardens to explore the physiology and diversity of the plants around us.