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Course 3: Herbal Botany Course

Course Information

Herbal Courses


Unit Title and Code : Herbal Botany and Plant Identification  Course 3

Unit Duration : 20 hours assignments and home study.

Core or Elective Unit: Core Unit

Pre-requisites : - None

Mode of Delivery External studies delivered with a combination of texts, workbooks, written assignments and an online final written assessment

Unit Objectives The objectives of this unit is to provide knowledge into the identification and classification of the plant world. This unit develops knowledge of the taxonomy, nomenclature and morphology of the plant world. It will give students’ the knowledge to be about to identify herbs in their raw states and comprehend botanical descriptions, classifications and botanical keys.

Course Content:

  • Herb taxonomy and nomenclature                      
  • Herb identification
  • Herb  morphology   
  • Botanical keys                     
  • Drying and wildcrafting herbs

Learning Outcomes



Learning Outcome 1

Herb taxonomy

  • Identify taxonomy and nomenclature
  • Highlight plant hierarchy and major taxa
  • Discuss phylogeny and plant evolution

Learning Outcome 2

Herbs morphology.

  • Identify the morphology and functions of herb seeds, root, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds.
  • Highlight terminology used to describe their form

Learning Outcome 3

Identify plants in their natural state  

  • Identify distinguishing points in the identification of plants in their natural state
  • Describe botanical features of major medicinal plants

Learning Outcomes 4

Botanical keys

  • Identify the distinction between floral keys and floral diagrams.


Learning Outcome 5

Herb harvesting, drying and storage. Herb wild crafting

  • Identify the organoleptic evaluation of plants in their dried form
  • Discuss wild crafting of herbs and the appropriate locations for herb harvesting.
  • Highlight the parts suitable for harvesting and times for harvesting
  • Highlight the requirements needed for the drying of herbs
  • Discuss the correct storage for medicinal plants

Lecture Plans:


Lecture Content

Recommended Reading


Plant taxonomy and nomenclature

Eleanor Tan pg 1-16


Herb Morphology, seeds and roots

Eleanor Tan pg 16-22


Plant Morphology stems and leaves

Eleanor Tan pg 22-38


Plant Morphology leaves and practical

Eleanor Tan pg38-46


Mid-Semester Break



Plant Morphology flowers, inflorescences and fruits

Eleanor Tan pg 46-58


Flower ID practical and botanical keys 

Eleanor Tan pg 58-98


Recognising plants in their natural state 



Herb Drying and storage


Set Texts :

Tan E. - Botany of the Flowering Plants, 3rd ed. 2008

Fisher C. & Painter G. – 1996 – Materia Medica of Western Herbs for the Southern Hemisphere

Siew N. Chong - Basic Morphology of Flowering Plants. Training Publications of Western Australia. 1985

Resources and Texts

Relevant texts or journals, paper based material or DVD s.

Chevellier A. 2001 – Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants . Dorling Kindersley

Chong S. Basic Morphology of Flowering Plants, 5th ed. Training Publications of WA. 1996

Fisher C. & Painter G. – 1996 – Materia Medica of Western Herbs for the Southern Hemisphere

Hoffman D.– The Holistic Herbal– Element Press

Phyllis A. Balch – 2002- Prescription for Herbal Healing. Penguin Putman Inc

Mills S. & Bone K. – 2000- Principles and practice of Phytotherapy – Churchill Livingstone

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99. CD Rom

Sherwood Peter – 2005 Healing. The history, philosophy and Practise of natural medicine. Griffin Press. South Australia.

Shippard I. 2003 – How can I use herbs in my daily life? David Stewart

Whitten G. Herbal Harvest, Blooming Books. Hawthorn, Victoria. 1997





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