Advanced Plant ID: Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Composites


Target Audience:

Staff involved in wetland issues such as wetland identification and delineation, wetland restoration and enhancement, wetland mitigation, and wetland habitat management.

Summary and Objectives:

This interagency course is designed to improve the ability of field staff to identify specific groups of wetland plants using botanical manuals and other flora. Lectures discuss morphology, terminology and identification. Participants collect representative plants in the field and, back in the classroom, log them in using directed and individual keying exercises. The course is taught by instructors from the Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Corps of Engineers.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the major botanical terms and morphological characteristics of wetland grasses, sedges, rushes and members of the Compositae family.
  • Use botanical keys, regional wetland floras, and electronic keys.
  • Identify major representative wetland plants in wetland communities in the field.
  • Observe wetland plants in the field and document observations.
  • Properly collect specimens for future identification and reference.


A general Wetland Plant Identification course or equivalent knowledge is recommended but not required prior to taking this course.

Competencies Addressed:

Botany - Intermediate, Plant Ecology - Basic, Wetland Biology and Ecology - Basic

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