Birmingham Botanical Gardens is open to all, every day of the week. Spring/summer hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (March 13–November 5). Please note that face coverings are optional inside City of Birmingham-owned buildings and venues, including the Garden Center and other indoor facilities at the Gardens, effective March 1, 2022. For more information and guidelines for visiting, please click here. We look forward to your visit!

Native Plant Studies

Each year, the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers a wide variety of introductory and in-depth classes about native southeastern plants and their importance to the environment. Designed for novice and seasoned gardeners alike, the ever-expanding curriculum combines core courses, electives, field trips, and volunteer service for a well-rounded experience for homeowners as well as professionals and volunteers working in the fields of conservation, horticulture, landscape design, land management, and environmental education. Classes may be taken throughout the year (members of the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens receive a discount!), with an optional certificate available.

Classes are taught by qualified professionals, and class sizes are limited. For more information about the program, contact Education Activities Specialist Dawn Coleman Lee at [email protected] Watch for upcoming class offerings in the Friends’ biweekly e-Newsletter! Not yet receiving our e-Newsletter? Click here to sign up!


Six Core Courses - 8 hours each

• Introduction to the Study of Native Plants
• Introduction to Botany
• Introduction to Taxonomy/Plant Classification
• Ecology of Alabama Native Plants
• Native Plant Conservation
• Plant-Soil Relationships

Six Elective Courses - 4 hours each

Participants choose six courses from a wide range of possible/probable electives:

• Non-Native Invasive Plants
• Native Woody Plants in Summer
• Native Ferns and Their Relatives
• Native Plants for Pollinators
• Understanding Botanical Names
• Medicinal and Edible Native Plants
• Native Plants of Wetlands
• Native Woody Plants in Winter
• Propagating Native Plants
• Digital Plant Photography
• Native Grasses and Grass-like Plants
• Native Mosses, Lichens, and Liverworts
• Native Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers
• Native Fall Wildflowers
• Botanical Illustration
• Urban Forestry and Native Trees

Field Trips (costs vary) 
Participants seeking to earn a Certificate in Native Plant Studies must complete two half-day field trips or one full-day field trip offered by the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, cooperating organizations, or other approved organizations.

40 Hours of Volunteer Service
Participants seeking to complete a Certificate in Native Plant Studies must complete 40 hours of volunteer service with the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens in one of our native plant areas or with another approved native plant or plant conservation-oriented organization by special request. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] or 205.414.3950, ext. 104 to learn more.


6 Core Courses (8 hours each): 48 hours ? ?
6 Electives (4 hours each): 24 hours? ? ??
2 Field Trips (4 hours each): 8 hours
Volunteer Service: 40 hours?
TOTAL: 120 hours?

Graduation Requirements
Successful completion of the series to receive a certificate is based on full participation, not academic proficiency. No exams will be administered. 

For more information about the program:
Contact the Education Activities Specialist Dawn Coleman Lee at [email protected].


Certificate classes are designated with this icon:


NOTE: If you are unable to register using the Register button above, the class may be full, call 205.414.3950.
Due to high call and email volume you should expect a response within 24-48 hours.

Disclaimer: We appreciate your interest in Birmingham Botanical Gardens' classes for adults and children. Some of our classes may cover the edible, medicinal, cosmetic and aromatic uses of plants. The information presented in our classes, whether delivered by Friends staff, volunteers or instructors, is derived from numerous sources which include folklore as well as more authoritative sources.This information is intended solely for educational purposes. We believe this information to be accurate, interesting, and useful within an educational context, but any information we may provide about the various uses of plants is not intended to advocate any specific use. Due to the very personal nature of individual chemical tolerances, allergies, and other possible negative reactions, you accept full responsibility for any use you may choose to undertake of the plants covered in our classes.

Current Students: Volunteer Service Hours Form?