Current Online Course Schedule

This page gives you a quick way to find out more about online and hybrid courses offered at MiraCosta. Click any course title to learn more about the course. Many instructors add details here about expectations for the course and what students need to do to get started.

Courses listed as "Online Only" may be completed entirely online.
Courses listed as "Hybrid" will have some class activity that takes place at a designated location in addition to your online coursework. This activity may range from a few proctored exams to regular meetings on a MiraCosta campus.

Plant Identification: Trees, Shrubs, and Vines

This course covers the identification, growth habits, culture, and ornamental use of plants found in Southern California landscapes. Topics include botanical and common names, plant family relationships, drought tolerance, and other environmental adaptations. Students learn to identify by sight memory more than 200 plants from professional certification test and local plant lists. Students are required to attend field trips both on and off campus.

Subject: HORT
Course Number: 117
Section Number: 1447
Units: 3
Instructor: Messina, John

Instructor information about this course

Learning Management System (LMS) for this course: Canvas
LMS link:
Course start page:
Course email:
Office: OC7051
Office hours: 4-5pm
Phone: 619-756-5032
Instructor notes: This is a hybrid class. Powerpoint lectures, assigned readings, practice tests and homework questions are done online each week. Labs will meet every Friday afternoon from 1-4pm in Room OC7051. Almost every week we will walk through the campus identifying 21 plants and collecting plant specimens. The specimens will be dried at home and added to a collection book that you will keep updated throughout the semester and turn in for a grade before final exam. There are 10 lists for a total of about 210 plants. Plant identification tests will be taken in the classroom every week after we study a new plant list. Multiple choice tests that cover information on plant characteristics will be on selected dates throughout the semester. The textbook is Sunset's Western Garden Book (9th edition, 2012). It is widely available and comes in an e-version. Please email me if you have any questions.

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