Queensland Sustainable Schools

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Department of Education and Training

Plant Identification

Overview

Identifying plants, whether in your school grounds or in your local bushland park, opens a whole new perspective on the world. The adage that people "can't see the forest for the trees" should be inverted: most people just see undifferentiated bush when it actually consists of amazing individual species, all with their own unique ways of surviving and reproducing.

Knowing the names and habit of common local species can help students value their natural heritage, increasing the potential that they will act to preserve it. A bushwalk is a much richer experience when students are able to recognise what they see: it's a little like greeting old friends.

At a more advanced level (e.g. senior biology and geography), identififying plants to species level is useful for:

  • classification purposes (e.g. classifying ecosystems, understanding classification systems)
  • understanding ecosystem composition (e.g. to investigate population size, carrying capacity or ecological succession)
  • assessing ecosystem condition (e.g. prevalence of introduced species).

Amaroo Environmental Education Centre has several plant identification booklets available for specific areas around Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. Many of the plants, however, are common to South-eastern Queensland and many may be found throughout Queensland and even throughout Australia.

The booklets feature photos of each plant with a list of distinguishing features.

Other resources on plant identification include: