Continuing and Distance Education 
Winter Session 2016-7

PSS 096 Pollinators and Perennials

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
Dept. Plant and Soil Science, 212 Jeffords, UVM, Burlington VT 05405
656-2630 (main office, real people during the day) (best, quickest response)

One credit, online through CDE Winter Session (Blackboard)

Due Dates: (by the end of the day, ie midnight)

Wed. Jan. 11 Final exercise

Friday Jan. 13 Tests 

Tests and exercises may be turned in any time prior to the due dates. Late submissions after these dates will not be accepted due to the short duration of the course and the need to submit grades promptly.  Plan for the unexpected (illness, computer crash, snow storms, ski opportunities, etc). 

meetings: none, completely online, at student's own pace and timing

Required Texts: this should be purchased prior to the course through local booksellers or online--allow enough time for shipping  (inexpensive paperbacks)

required: Pollinators of Native Plants, Heather Holm (also available from

optional: Attracting Native Pollinators, Xerces Society (also available from and in Kindle format)


other readings will be provided as links online or posted on blackboard


1. Learn basic types of pollinators, with particular emphasis on various native bees, their anatomy and behavior.
2. Learn basics of the pollination process including flower types, morphology, attractants, and pollinator-plant interactions.
3. Become aware of aspects of pollinator threats and conservation in various types of landscapes including urban, natural, and agricultural.
4. Gain familiarity with and learn how to search a palette of native perennial plants for various (32) ecoregions of the country, and for three main ecological habitats, as well as the general pollinators of each and specific bees associated with specific perennials.    


How it works:

This course will be of use to anyone interested  in learning more on one of the recent important topics in agriculture and horticulture worldwide, vital for the future of food production.  Students, home gardeners, agricultural producers and retailers, and those just interested in observing nature will benefit from this course, no matter what region of the country you live in or visit.  It will serve also as a complement, either before or after, to the UVM classroom-based 4-credit fall course on Landscape Design for Pollinators.

After this course you should have a much clearer, better, and more detailed appreciation of:
•    why it is important to focus on and help pollinators,
•    the main pollinators and how they function, and
•    a diverse palette of perennial flowers for pollinators, for various regions and habitats, and their details and plant-pollinator interactions.

This completely online course is based on the four main sections of the text, reflected in the course objectives, with a test on each.  Tests are open book, untimed, done online, and will be comprised of several question formats.  Tests are designed to reinforce student’s familiarity with the material, to synthesize various topics, and to problem solve.

The final exercise will pull together all the material covered, with the focus on native perennial flowering plants and their pollinators.  Using the additional references and websites, the student will develop a short list of five pollinator perennials for a specific ecoregion of their choice, plants not listed in the text, and to host a range of pollinators through the season.  Plant profiles, similar to those shown in the text, will be developed for each of these perennials.  Grading will be based on diversity of plants for several pollinators, appropriateness of plants to the region, and both accuracy and completeness of plant profile details.

Email contact between professor and students is used as needed, particularly on exercise questions, and to share information. The syllabus on Blackboard, AND the tips, will serve as your contract for the course and should be read thoroughly. Students are expected to follow the UVM Code of Academic Integrity (

Access: Blackboard (your UVM passwords) for syllabus, tests, plan exercise 

Assignments and Grading  (600 points total):

•    Tests (400 points total, 100 points each, 4 tests)
•    Exercise (200 points total: 100 points each for plant selection, plant details)

"It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education ... is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks."-- Albert Einstein

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." --John Dewey

links to Perry's Perennial Pages | UVM Plant and Soil Science Department