CUGE-ECO-3002E Plant Diversity & Nomenclature Series - Discovering Fabaceae

Learning to identify plants based on taxonomic characteristics is important as many plant species may superficially appear to be identical, even though they actually belong to completely different families, and are not closely related at all. Such mis–identifications often lead to improper care and placement of plants in the landscape, resulting in poor health and even death of the plants. Having the correct scientific name of a plant is essential to research the needs of it and to know what the proper care requirements of a particular species are.


The course aims to provide learners with a basic background in botany and equip them with skills for proper plant identification. Basic plant observation skills needed for proper plant identification will be covered during the course. An essential and popular feature of this series of courses is the hands–on on examination and dissection of live plant specimens in the classroom. There will also be field trips in the Singapore Botanic Gardens to observe its diverse living collections.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring in as many unknown plant specimens as they wish to be identified during the course. All specimens must contain some leaves attached to the stem, and flowers and/or fruit wherever possible. Specimens may be fresh (kept in plastic bags) or, if collected several days before the course, should be pressed and dried in newspaper.


The plant family covered for the workshop is the bean family (Fabaceae). 


  • Classroom sessions 
  • Field trips


  • Horticulturists
  • Arborists
  • Landscape architects 


Bian Tan is a specialist in botany, taxonomy, horticulture, plant conservation and environmental education. He holds a MSc in Botany (Taxonomy & Systematics), and a BSc Honors in Horticulture with high distinction. Bian's experience spans many countries, notably the USA and the South East Asian nations. He has presented and moderated at numerous international conferences and has published articles in periodicals and journals. 

All information are correct as of posted date.

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