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Adult Programs

Identify Woodland Wildflowers (online)

Learn the names and habits of the wildflowers that cover the woodland floor in spring in this online class.

Content Detail

In spring, ephemeral wildflowers cover the woodlands in an explosion of colors. In this virtual workshop, participants will learn how to identify these plants, where they grow, how their life cycles work, and what plants they most often grow with.

Through online study, live online classes via Zoom, and independent assignments in  the spring woods, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the beauty and diversity of woodland plants and their role and importance in a functioning woodland ecosystem.

This virtual class is intended for learners who have had a previous introduction to plant ID. Self-paced components can be completed wherever you have access to a computer, at your own pace. Live web conferences take place in Central time. Online assignments will be due before the live sessions.

This program includes self-paced online components and two live online sessions with the instructor.

Instructor: Chris Benda

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

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently.

Age: 16 and older


Chris Benda, botanist

Chris Benda is a botanist and past president of the Illinois Native Plant Society (2015–2016).  He works as a researcher at Southern Illinois University, where he coordinates the Plants of Concern Southern Illinois Program and teaches The Flora of Southern Illinois. Besides working at SIU, he conducts botanical fieldwork around the world, teaches a variety of classes at The Morton Arboretum, and leads nature tours for Camp Ondessonk. He has research appointments with the University of Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory, and he is an accomplished photographer and author of several publications about natural areas in Illinois. Learn more about his work at Illinois Botanizer.

What to Know

  • Participants must have completed Basic Plant ID (W010) or have equivalent experience with plant identification.
  • A unique email address for each participant is required at registration.
  • To access the online materials, you will log into TreeLearning, the Arboretum’s online learning portal. Instructions for accessing TreeLearning will be sent to registrants by email before the start date for the course.
  • Complete self-paced e-learning modules with reading material, short videos, interactive activities, and quizzes to check your understanding.  You have access to the online course materials for 60 days.
  • The self-guided portion will take approximately 3 hours. It does not need to be completed in one sitting, but you must complete it before your live web conferences.
  • Live web conferences will take place using Zoom. A link will be provided to all registrants by email. Registrants should click on the link to join the live online sessions at the scheduled date and time.
  • Live web conferences will be recorded and made available to registered participants for the duration of the class.

Program Schedule

Self-paced online materials, independent assignments,  and two live online sessions on Zoom are all part of this program:

Wednesday, April 5, 2023, noon: Self-paced online materials available

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Live online sessions meet on Zoom.


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