Adult Opportunities

Advanced Spring Prairie Plant Identification

Learn to identify prairie plants in their early stages of seasonal development.

Content Detail

Plant identification can be a challenge in the spring, as many plants are just beginning to emerge. In this half-day workshop, participants will head out onto the prairie at The Morton Arboretum to look at species that are in bloom in the spring. In addition, participants will learn to identify the early leaves and distinguishing features of plants that bloom later in the year.

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.

Instructor: Nathanael Pilla, botanist and ecologist, Midwest Biological Survey

Continuing Education: This class fulfills the Plant Identification elective for the Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program. Learn more about N-ACT.

Age: 16 and older

Course number: W323


Nathanael Pilla, botanist and ecologist, Midwest Biological Survey

Nathanael Pilla is a charismatic botanist who is experienced in botanical research and identification, has trained and led wetland restoration crews, interns, and volunteers, and is broadly engaged in environmental outreach and stewardship. Previously with Orbis Environmental Consulting, he currently leads his own environmental consulting company, Midwest Biological Survey. Pilla also serves on the Chicago Wilderness Steering Committee and is an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame. He recently co-authored the book, Wildflowers of the Indiana Dunes National Park, which was published through Indiana University Press. When he is not botanizing, he spends his time writing and singing ridiculous songs.

What to Know

Basic Plant ID (W010 or W011) or previous experience with plant identification is required.

This program is held entirely outdoors. Plan for a mile or more of walking over uneven ground.

Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes with closed toes.

Please bring a water bottle, hand lens, your favorite field guide for prairie plants, and materials for taking notes in the field.

Program Schedule

Saturday, June 1, 2024, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Prairie Visitor Station (Parking Lot 25)


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