Alut Training

.... Towards Sustainable Land-Use

email: / call : +27 71 866 1331



Enrolment date: Any time

Duration: 1 month

Content: 6 lessons

Certificate of attendance

The grass family is a fascinating and highly diverse plant family. It is considered to most economically important plant family on earth. This is mainly due to its importance as a source of food for us, humans, and a wide variety of animals. On our farms and nature reserves, it provides food to livestock, game animals (the so-called grazers) and many bird and insect species. Knowing the different grasses is important as it enables us to determine the veld condition and the grazing capacity of a property.

The objective of this course is to train the learner on how to identify grass species using the identification key in the book “Guide to grasses of Southern Africa” by Frits van Oudtshoorn. The course is aimed at people working with grass (e.g. farmers and environmentalists) as well as people simply interested in nature.

Please note: The book “Guide to Grasses of Southern Africa” (van Oudtshoorn) is the compulsory training material for this course. You can buy it at any good book store, or visit our online shop:

The course consists of the following lessons:

Lesson 1. Introduction to the grass family
In this lesson, we look at some aspects regarding the grass family. This includes details on the size of the grass family, its classification as well as features of other similar-looking plant families.

Lesson 2. Importance of grasses to the ecology
In this lesson, we look at the important role of grasses in the ecology. This includes grasses and grazers, grasses and birds, grasses and insects, and grasses and soil conservation.

Lesson 3. Importance of grasses to humans
In this lesson, we look at the important aspects of grasses to humans. This includes grass as a source of food, grass as alcoholic beverages, food indirectly from grass, construction and utility items, turf grasses, and ornamental grasses.

Lesson 4. The parts of the grass plant
In this lesson, we will look at the different parts of the grass plant, also known as the morphology of the grass plant.

Lesson 5: How to identify grasses
In this lesson, we look at how to identify grasses by following a step-by-step process and using, among others, the identification key in the book “Guide to grasses of Southern Africa”.

Lesson 6: Common grasses and their features
In this lesson, we look at a selection of some of the most common grasses in our region. We focus on their important features for identification.

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