Identifying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes

Course Overview

This part lab and part field course is designed to give participants the knowledge and familiarity necessary to identify members of these difficult families. Participants will learn vocabulary, work extensively with keys, and hone dissecting skills. Participants will be exposed to well over 100 species through prepared specimens and field work.

Field sites will be primarily wetland. Field identification and reinforcement will be stressed whenever possible. Given the course location Carex and numerous grass genera will be emphasized.

This course is designed to accommodate all skill levels. 32 contact hours/ Instructor: Knapp


Tuition cost:

Your Course Includes

Printed Lecture Notes and Electronic Resources

All participants receive a printed copy of lecture notes and electronic copies of essential electronic resources for reference.

Instructor interaction

WTI instructors are available to answer specific questions during and after your course.

Frequently asked Questions

Where is the specific location or venue for the course?

We finalize specific logistics once a course has reached minimum enrollment and is officially “confirmed.” Once confirmed, all registered participants will be notified of specific details so travel and other arrangements can be made as needed.

Does this course count towards my certification program?

Your certificate of completion can be used to document instructional hours received in this topic. You should contact the specific certifying agency or association directly to find out how they will assess or credit this WTI course. Typically, our courses are accepted by all state and national certifying agencies and associations; however, you should confirm that with the specific certification program to which you are applying or renewing.

Course Location

In consideration of state and national COVID-19 guidelines, we are not currently scheduling any in-person indoor lectures during the first half of 2021. We look forward to resuming this course and others as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. Please check back for scheduled dates in the future.


Wesley Knapp is a professional botanist and ecologist specializing in rare, threatened, and endangered species, taxonomy and morphology. He is an expert on Sedges (Cyperaceae), and Rushes (Juncaceae) authoring keys for various Floras. He works for the North Carolina Natural Heritage Porgram and serves as a regional reviewer for the Flora of North America Project.

What Our Participants Say…

I learned a great deal during this course, even for a beginner this course was excellent and easy to keep up with.  I thoroughly enjoyed the course.  I was very pleased with how many species I learned and the vocabulary I am able to understand.

“I am walking away with so much valuable information. Wes was impossible to stump – thorough subject matter expertise.”

Wes was a great teacher. Very helpful and patient. I was thankful for his wide variety of knowledge. Most deeply comprehensive plant identification course I have had.

“Instructor was very knowledgeable and helpful. Also it was a nice mix of lab and field work. Would recommend to others.”

Not currently scheduled – check back for 2023

Course Curriculum

This course offers an in-depth study of graminoid (grasses, sedges, and rushes) identification. Time will be spent both in the field and the lab learning how to identify specimens from this difficult family.