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PNW Plant ID with Crystal Hamby- 3 Course Program is a Program

PNW Plant ID with Crystal Hamby- 3 Course Program

Starts Jul 9, 2022

$225 Enroll

Full program description

Course Date & Time:

Class 1: Saturday July 16, 2022
Class 2: Saturday August 20, 2022
Class 3: Saturday September 10, 2022
All dates: 10:00am - 2:00pm PST


Course Notes

IMPORTANT: By registering for this series, you are committing to three Saturday classes. If you'd prefer to register for just one or two classes, please visit each class listing individually. 
  • This course is held in-person at our Bastyr University Kenmore Campus. Participants will follow signs to find Room 55 on the basement level of our main building
  • Registration is open to those ages 12+.
  • Most of the class will be held inside, but please dress for the weather for walks through the garden.
  • There is no food service available on campus at this time, so please bring your lunch. 

Canvas Classroom

By registering for the course, you are given access to a Canvas classroom. This is optional, but it will hold any resources and links discussed in class, and you will need to access it to complete your post-course evaluation and competency quiz (if you take all three classes in the series). Please check your email following registration for access instructions. You will not have access until the day of class. For any issues related to Canvas access, please email us at 


About the Course

A three-part course designed to introduce students to the foundations of Plant Identification.  The first class will teach students about plant morphology, the main method used for identifying plants.  Students will learn about the various ways in which a plant organizes its features, its morphology, and the course will cover morphological traits that pertain to stem, root, leaf, flower, inflorescence, and fruit morphology.   The second course in the series will cover the morphological traits specific to a group of families prevalent in the PNW; and will then take students into the field on herb walks to identify specific species of plants found in the families covered. We will discuss the traits used to identify our medicinal species, how to sustainably wildcraft plants for medicinal use, how to use plants as medicine via learning about the materia medica of the plant, and we will explore the many methods used in making medicine from our local medicinal plants.   The third and final course will teach students how to use the main dichotomous key of the region, The Flora of the Pacific Northwest, in order to learn how to key a plant in the wild to its corresponding family, genus and species.  Students will learn about the tools used in plant identification, the skills employed in keying out plants, and will have the opportunity to work in the field to key out a number of plants using the The Flora of the Pacific Northwest.

Class 1: Plant ID Morphology: 4hr class: covering stem, bud, root, leaf, flower, inflorescence, fruit    

Learn the basic skills that will help you to be able to identify a plant by using a regional flora (book used to key a plant out to its species). This class will focus on how to determine the morphological traits of a plant by exploring what type of stem, bud, root, leaf, flower, inflorescence, and fruit a plant is expressing.  By learning about the morphological traits of a plant we can begin to fairly accurately key a plant into what family it belongs in, what genus it is housed in, and what specific type of species it is.  Learn your morphology and you’ll be well on your road to identifying plants in the wild.

Class 2: Plant ID Family Traits and Herb Walk: 4hr class: covering the following families- Rosaceae, Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, Ericaceae 


Plants are classified into what family they belong in first, then what specific genus they are housed in, and further into what unique species they are.  When we learn the basic morphological traits of a family we can then move forward to keying a plant out into what genus and species it is.  In this class we will explore the key morphological traits of the main families prevalent in the PNW, which provide us with a wealth of food and medicine.  We will also be expanding our medicinal knowledge of the plants belonging to the families covered by exploring the therapeutic qualities associated with each family.  Once the core features of the families are learned we will take an herb walk, which will be focused on applying our morphological training to identify our native plants from the families covered. We will explore the medicinal properties of the plants highlighted on our walk, and we will discuss the best method for harvesting each herb and for preparing the herbs into medicine for our personal medicine chests.  You will be amazed by the medicinal properties of plants you have already met and will be tickled by getting to know some new plant allies as well. 

Class 3- Plant ID Dichotomous Key Training: 4hrs, learn how to use a dichotomous key to key a plant from Family to Genus to Species

Keying a mystery plant out to its family, genus and species is both challenging and rewarding, and a must if you are wildcrafting your medicinal herbs.  Proper plant identification is vital when collecting plants in the wild, you want your herbal medicine to support you and heal you, not kill you!  During this class students will be introduced to how to use 2 of the most widely used dichotomous keys in the PNW, Hitchcock and Cronquist’s Flora of the PNW, and Eugene Kozloff’s, Plants of Western Oregon, Washington & British Columbia.  We will take a walk in nature and will stop along the way to key plants out using these keys.  If using a key seems overwhelming or difficult to you this class will de-mystify the process and will give you the skills to use a key with confidence.  Students will need to bring one, or both of the above keys to the class for their personal use.

What to Bring

Class will be held at Bastyr University's Kenmore campus, as well as around out in the garden on campus. Please dress for the weather. 

Materials depend on the course- please click the individual listing to see required materials. These will also be listed in the Canvas classroom. All materials can be purchased from the Bastyr Bookstore or from other retailers. 

Course Learning Objectives & Goals

See individual course listings for objectives for each class. 

Course Completion Requirements (in order to receive a Certificate of Completion)

  • You must attend the full series of three classes held at BU Kenmore
  • You must complete the course exam with a 75% or higher to pass (after completing all three classes)
  • You must complete the course evaluation.

About the Instructor

Crystal Hamby.jpg

Crystal Hamby's knowledge stems from her devotion to all things green, and from her education in herbal medicine.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University, where she is an adjunct faculty member teaching classes in the Botanical Medicine department.  Her business, Green Blessings Herbal Counseling and Classes, focuses on private herbal consultations, as well as offering a variety of community-based classes and services.  She believes that everyone can benefit from the healing power of plant medicine, and it is her desire to bring the wisdom of herbal medicine back into the lives of those in my community so that I may inspire and educate those around me to live a more healthful life. For more information on her counseling practice and classes offered please visit her website at


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