This course introduces the native and exotic plants found in New Zealand and teaches you how to identify them.


The Plant Identification course was developed in conjunction with the NZ Plant Conservation Network with funding from the Government's Advice Fund. This course introduces the broad spectrum of New Zealand plants (both native and exotic), and how to identify them. 

To provide the basic understanding, Plant Identification covers:

  • botanical terminology and technical jargon
  • how to use a key to identify plants
  • how to observe and accurately describe a plant (including the community of plants it grows amongst and its location), and take samples and/or photos, so that it can be positively identified later
  • who to contact for information, including good websites.

By providing a basic understanding of how to identify plants, this course delivers valuable skills for anyone who is interested in plant conservation or weed control.

This 2-day course is for anyone who works or wants to work or volunteer in conservation, including:

  • regional council staff
  • volunteers
  • members of community groups, trusts and funding recipients.


The main assessment involves taking a specimen and describing the plant.  


One of the requirements for the Plant Identification course is to complete these online courses:

How to enrol

This DOC field skills course is delivered and administered by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) in partnership with DOC. For course dates, costs and venues, and how to enrol visit the NMIT website.

Arrangements can be made to hold the course at venues throughout New Zealand for groups of 8 or more – for more information contact NMIT.

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