Adult Programs

Advanced Summer Prairie Plant Identification (in person)

Go beyond the basics and improve your ability to identify the diverse and beautiful plants of the tallgrass prairie,

Content Detail

Go beyond the basics and improve your ability to identify the diverse and beautiful plants of the tallgrass prairie. Prairies in summer are at the peak of their bloom and color, with hundreds of species of wildflowers and grasses showing their distinctive beauty. 

Increase the number of plants you can confidently identify, and begin to learn the specialized features and vocabulary to identify challenging groups such as the aster family, including asters and goldenrods, as well as the grasses, rushes, and sedges. This workshop consists of an intensive, hands-on approach to identifying prairie plants in the field. We’ll discuss their ecology, point out key features and distinctions, and practice identifying species using keys.  

# S320

  • Held entirely outdoors. Please dress for the weather. Wear long sleeves and pants, sun protection, close-toed shoes with good traction, and rain gear if needed.
    Please bring a sack lunch, water, and snacks.
    Your favorite field guide and a hand lens will be useful.
    Limit 12


Prior experience with plant identification required.

COVID-19 Precautions:

  • If you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone who is unwell in the last two weeks, you must stay home. A full refund will be issued on request.
  • Participants who are not vaccinated or are partly vaccinated must wear a face mask and practice social distancing, indoors and outdoors. Face masks and social distancing are optional for fully vaccinated individuals.
  • By attending Arboretum programs without a face mask, you are affirming that you are fully vaccinated (at least two weeks have passed since your final shot).

Nathanael Pilla, botanist, Orbis Environmental Consulting

Nathanael is a charismatic botanist who works for Orbis Environmental Consulting. He 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. Nathanael also serves on the Chicago Wilderness Steering Committee as Executive Secretary. His most recent publications were inventories of macrofungi and microfungi in Indiana. When he is not botanizing, Nathanael spends his time writing and singing ridiculous songs.


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