CUGE-ARB-3006 - Basic Palm Identification and Horticulture

Palms are the emblems of the tropics. They are distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and reach greatest diversity in tropical Asia with 57 genera and over 1200 species.

Besides being an economically important family, they are extremely useful as landscape plants because of their distinctive architecture and often low maintenance.
Singapore's palm flora is very rich, but still we only find less than 50 genera, mostly non-native, represented of the world's 260+ genera. There is great potential in utilizing more of our Asian palms within Singapore. In order to do this successfully, this course aims at showcasing some basic identification skills as well as horticultural techniques for palm cultivation.


 This two day course aims to provide learners with a basic background of palm morphology and classification and equip them with basic skills for proper identification of common palms in Singapore. An essential aspect of this course involves understanding the requirements for successful palm cultivation and maintenance as well as choosing the right palms for the right environment. Participants will also get to learn how to identify and treat common pest, diseases and nutritional deficiencies of palms to mitigate palm failure.


  • Basic Palm Taxonomy
  • Basic Palm Morphology
  • Introduction to Palm Cultivation, the right choice for your space
  • Planting palms correctly
  • Palm maintenance
  • Causes of palm failure
  • What is eating my palms? Pest and diseases in palms
  • Recognising nutritional deficiencies in palms


  • Classroom sessions & viewing of samples
  • Outdoor field trips to palm valley


  • Planners and Developers
  • Architects
  • Surveyors
  • Tree Care Practitioners & Landscape Architects
  • Horticulturists
  • Project/Estate Managers involved in project planning and development


Mr Felix Merklinger is currently Manager(Horticulture, Exhibition and Events) at NParks and holds a MSc in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants (Uni of Edinburgh) and has over 10 years of experience in botanical horticulture at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Britain). He has given lectures at several venues including Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Jerusalem Botanic Gardens. Felix has also published horticultural and scientific articles: "Palms and Cycads (2009)", Nature Watch Singapore (2011), Plant Systematics and Evolution (2014)


Professional Certification


ISA Certified Arborist


ISA BCMA - Science


ISA BCMA – Practice


ISA BCMA – Management


Certified Practising Horticulturist


*Awarded points may differ for different sessions.


Full Course Fee: $428

Fees include provision of training, materials and refreshment.

*Terms and conditions apply.

All information are correct as of posted date.

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