A computerized plant list has been developed and implemented in landscape design and plant materials courses at Montana State University to facilitate locating plant materials. Students learning ornamental plant identification are typically shown only one or two specimens of a species in the field. The plant locator program provides students with a source for additional nearby locations of these species based on 13 different criteria: genus, specific epithet, cultivar, three common names, family, street location, house number, direction from the house, light exposure, age, and landscape use. Once the appropriate information is obtained frorn the computer, students may go out to field inspect the species in question and study botanical characteristics, growth characteristics, and landscape use. In addition to presenting plant information, the program provides a user friendly interaction with personal computers thereby promoting computer literacy. The data bank may also be used by instructors in planting class field walks to organize better these experiences in specific outdoor locations.
plant identification, computer learning program, landscape design