Contact your county Extension office for your local Native Plant Master program.

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The mission of the Native Plant Master Program is to educate the public about native plants in order to foster stewardship, sustainable landscaping and management of weeds that threaten native ecosystems.

The Native Plant Master Field Courses take place over twelve hours and three sessions. The course will cover more than thirty-five plants, of which nine will be keyed in the field.

Each Field Course session will focus on an educational native plant and ecological topic.

  • Session One: Botanical characteristics of plant families and species, identification using a botanical key, scientific names, and stewardship of native plants.
  • Session Two: Ecological relationships including non-native species, noxious weeds, and relationships with wildlife, pollinators, other plants, etc.
  • Session Three: Written field exam on material from first and second sessions. Human uses, including the use of natives for sustainable landscaping, ethnobotanical and other human uses. Course survey.

Each Field Course will include an exam on the final day.  Participants who pass exams from three different Field Courses (covering a variety of life zones or seasons) with a C or better will receive an NPM certificate of completion, signifying they have successfully completed three courses totaling thirty-six hours of class time.

Required Textbook for the Field Course:

All class participants must bring Flora of Colorado, 2nd Edition by Jennifer Ackerfield to each class.

Find a Native Plant Master Course by County

About NPM Courses:

Courses are usually taught at one location for three mornings over three-week period with a given exam at the last session. During three outdoor field sessions, you will learn common and scientific names, ecological relationships and human uses of 40 – 50 plants. You will also develop skills in using family features and a botanical key to identify plants. Course includes special emphasis on natives useful for landscaping and covers invasive plants that threaten native ecosystems.