Learn Grasses, Head to Toe

Learn Grasses, Head to Toe Workshop
Caledonia State Park • 101 Pine Grove Road • Fayetteville, PA 17222
Instructor: Dr. Timothy A. Block


The grass family (Poaceae) is the fifth largest plant family in terms of species (about 12,000), and the most important family in terms of food production worldwide. Grasses occur on every continent (including Antarctica!) and are important ecological components of most ecosystems.

Pennsylvania is home to more than 300 species of grasses, both native and introduced. Many people, even plant enthusiasts, often avoid grass identification because they are “just too hard,” or “they all look alike.” This workshop will dispel both of those ideas!

We will look at the overall form and specific details of grass plants from their roots to their flowers so that participants can go away knowing the terminology specific to grasses and, when, where, and what to look at to identify grasses to species.

Instructor Dr. Timothy A. Block was appointed the John J. Willaman Chair of Botany at the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum in 2009 after having served as Director of Botany since 2001. He has been with the Morris Arboretum for more than 22 years and holds appointments as Adjunct Professor in the Biology Department at Penn, Research Associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and Expert in Botany for the Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is co-author of The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual published in 2000 with the second edition published in 2007, Trees of Pennsylvania: A Complete Reference Guide published in 2005, and Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania: A Complete Reference Guide published by Penn Press in 2011.