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Tropical Plant Identification Course

During this two-week Tropical Plant Identification Course, Kew botanists share their expertise in identifying plants from the biodiversity-rich tropical regions of the world.
Students examine plant specimens in a classroom
Identifying tropical plant specimens

Course details

Taught by Kew’s botanists, all with an in-depth knowledge of the plants and habitats of the tropics, the course will give participants an overview of 70 of the most commonly encountered tropical plant families, using morphological key 'spotting' characters.

Dates of next course

15–26 May 2017


The course runs for two weeks from 9:00–5:30 (MondayFriday).

Course venue

Classes are taught in the Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives building (situated next to Elizabeth Gate), about 15 minutes walk from Kew Gardens Underground station (District Line/London Overground) and ten minutes walk from Kew Bridge station (South West Trains).

How to get to the HLAA (map)


The course fee for non-Kew staff is £800: this covers teaching costs and course materials. Funds for travel to Kew and subsistence must be sought elsewhere.

Who is the course designed for?

This course has been designed for conservation and environment professionals, and is also suitable for graduate students, ethnobotanists, ecologists and zoologists.

How is the course taught?

Through short illustrated lectures outlining general principles and patterns, followed by extensive hands-on practical sessions, Kew botanists will demonstrate the key characters for each family, sharing their expert tips for identification. Students will join regional experts for identification sessions and visit Kew's diverse living plant collections.

How to apply

Applications for a place on the course should be made using the application form on the

For further information and a copy of the course poster, contact the course coordinators: Tim Utteridge or Gemma Bramley.

Please note the final date for receipt of completed application forms is 31 January 2017. Candidates should supply evidence of full funding by 31 January 2017 before any offer of a place on the course can be finally confirmed. If insufficient fully funded suitable candidates apply, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew reserves the right to cancel the course, no later than 31 January 2017.


In order to attend these courses at Kew, students from outside the European Economic Area may need to apply for a Short-Term Study Visa from the UK Border Agency to enter the UK. For this purpose, Kew is accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education as a Short Course Provider.

Further information will be provided to course applicants – you will need to be accepted onto a course before you can apply for a short-term study visa.