Certificate in Native Plant Studies

The South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS), in partnership with the South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG), is excited to present a Certificate in Native Plant Studies.


The South Carolina Native Plant Society and SC Botanical Garden provide a valuable service to our SCNPS mission by providing a SC Native Plant Certification curriculum each year, which many of our membership have taken advantage of in years past.  In addition to the 8 required courses, the program includes over 20 additional elective courses which are taught at the SCBG and across the state throughout year in a combination of classroom lecture and field walks. 

Due to the pandemic, the field walks are suspended for the time being; however, we are considering adjusting the format to provide the classroom sessions this fall and then the field portion in the Spring of next year.  Anyone interested in the course is encouraged to reach out to Sue Watts, the program administrator at   watts9 @ clemson.edu  to express interest. 

Stay tuned at   https://www.clemson.edu/public/scbg/education/certificate-program.html

Based on South Carolina’s rich botanical heritage, and through hands-on field-based classes, students learn about native plants and their vast diversity, plant communities and the habitats that define South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Participants also learn about the significant benefits of native plants in ensuring biodiversity, and improving soil, water and air quality, as well as discover the importance of sustainable and appropriate development, become aware of conservation issues facing native plants and plant communities, and become educated environmental stewards.CertificateBrochureCover

In elective courses, students will also have the opportunity to visit and learn more about the various ecosystems in South Carolina.

Classes are all taught by qualified professionals. The certificate program is composed of 88 hours of coursework (7 core classes @ $80 each plus 32 hours electives) (10% discount to SCNPS members* and Garden FRIENDS). Students are not required to pursue a Certificate in order to enroll.

To download a brochure, click here.

Class sizes are limited! 
To register, go to www.clemson.edu/scbg/education/certificate-program.html

 For important tips on negotiating the registration system, click here.
(It is highly recommended that you read these tips!!!)

*If you are a current member of the South Carolina Native Plant Society, click here to get your discount code.


(Basic Botany is a prerequisite for all other courses.)

Courses include:

Basic Botany
Spring Herbaceous Plant Identification
Fall Herbaceous Plant Identification
Tree Identification
Natural Communities
Principles of Sustainable Landscaping
Basic HorticultureSueWatts_IMG_4212_400
Pests & Disease
Invasives & Exotics
Propagation of Native Plants
Native Grasses
Rain Gardens
Soil Basics
Native Plant Container Gardens
Shoreline Buffers
Ferns and Fern Allies
Coastal Plain Ecology
Sandhills Ecology
Mountain Ecology
Piedmont Ecology