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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Improve your knowledge of Australian plant life with this specialist Certificate qualification

  • A 600 hour certificate focusing on Australian native plants.
  • 5 core modules on Australian plants plus a further elective module enabling you to tailor the qualification to a specified area of interest.
  • Learn what to plant where - both indoors and outdoors.




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Expand your knowledge of trees and plants with a Certificate in Australian Natives

The world is changing - more and more different varieties of non-indigenous plants and trees are being grown in homes, gardens and public areas. 

  • Horticulturalists will benefit from knowing more about these different types of plants, how to propagate and manage them and where they are most appropriate.
  • Learn how to identify different types of Australian native trees, ferns and flowers.
  • Improve your knowledge on the different commercial applications for these.
  • The elective element of the Certificate allows you to tailor the course specifically to your own areas of interest.  Select from Tropical Plants, Palms and Cyads, or Interior Plants.
  • Food enthusiasts will appreciate the inclusion of Bush Tucker Plants - edible Austrlian plants.
  • Course Duration: 600 hours of self paced study.  Start at any time; study when and where you want.



Study 5 core modules made up of Australian Native Ferns, Australian Native Trees, Australian Natives I and II and Bushtucker Plants.

Then choose 1 elective module from Tropical Plants, Palms and Cyads or Interior Plants.



There are 5 core modules, as follows.  Please click on the links to access the page for each.

Australian Native Ferns

Australian Native Trees

Australian Natives I

Australian Natives II

Bush Tucker Plants



Choose 1 elective module from the following:-

Tropical Plants

Palms and Cyads

Interior Plants


More in-depth information concerning each module is available via the course page links.

There are 8 lessons in this module:
1. Introduction
Includes review of the system of plant identification, and general characteristics and main groups of ferns.
2. Culture
Includes planting, mulching, watering, pest & disease, feeding, pruning, protection from wind, salt air.
3. Propagation
Includes methods of propagating ferns.
4. The Most Commonly Grown Varieties
Includes maidenhairs, tree ferns, stags, elks, common ground ferns.
5. Other Important Groups
Includes Blechnum, Nephrolepis, Pteris, etc.
6. Other Varieties
Includes Hares foot ferns, Bracken, Fans.
7. Making the Best Use of Native Ferns
Includes where to plant and how to sell produce.
8. Special Assignment  A major project on one genera of ferns.


There are 8 lessons in this module:
1. Introduction
Includes review of the system of plant identification, genus, species, changing names, and hybrids.
2. Culture
Includes planting procedures, time of planting and pruning.
3. Propagation
Includes different types of propagation, grafting, and transplanting.
4. Most Commonly Grown Varieties
Includes review of relevant genera.
5.More About Important Groups
Includes Eucalyptus, Grevillea, and diagnosing tree problems.
6. Other Varieties
Includes rainforest trees, Acmena, Agathis, Podocarpus, Adansonia, Barklya, and Nuytsia.
7. Making The Best Use Of Native Plants
Includes problems with trees, biological controls, and Australian indigenous palms.
8. Special Assignment
Students select and conduct an in-depth study of one plant genus or group.

There are 9 lessons in this module:
1. Introduction
Includes scope and nature of Australian indigenous plants, and origins of Australian fauna.
2. Cultural Techniques
Includes environmental factors, nutrition, pests, and disease.
3. Eucalypts
Includes general culture of the genus Eucalypts, and review of selected species.
4. Native Trees
Includes Casurina, Allocasuarina, Gymnostoma, and Ceuthostoma.
5. Acacias
Includes overview of Acacias - scope and nature, drawing a garden design.
6. Melaleucas, Callistemons and Leptospermums
Includes review of the Myrtaceae family.
7. Grevilleas
Includes scope and nature of the genus, different types, and related Proteaceae Natives.
8. Ground Cover and Small Shrubs
Includes Fabaceae (Papillionaceae) Pea Family Australian Plants.
9. Commercial Applications
Includes fragrant Australian Native plants, and growing plants in containers.


There are 8 lessons in this module:
1. Introduction
Includes scope and nature of wildflowers, general characteristics of the group.
2. Growing Conditions
Includes planting, staking, mulching, pests and disease.
3. The Heaths and Similar Plants
Includes Myrtaceae family and other small natives, Telopea, and Leptospermum.
4. The Daisy Family
Includes Helichrysum, Bracteantha, Helipterum, and Olearia.
5. The Legumes
Includes Fabaceae, Caesalpinaceae, and Acacia.
6. Other Common Groups
Includes Boronia, Clematis, and Viola.
7. The Monocots
Includes grasses, native irises, and Xanthorrhea.
8. Commercial Applications

Bush Tucker Plants

There are 8 lessons in this module:
1. Introduction
Includes scope, understanding plant toxins, identifying plants.
2. Growing
Includes understanding and improving soils, collecting, storing and germating seeds.
3. Gathering
Includes ethics, bush foods as a commercial venture, rainforest gardens.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Includes Macadamia, Araucaria, and Hicksbeachia Pinnatifolia.
5. Vegetables
Includes Tetragonia Tetragonioides (native spinach), and Longleaf Mat Rush (Lomandra Longifolia).
6. Fruits
Includes Astoloma, Billardiera, and Ficus.
7. Flavourings, Teas, Essences
Includes Basckhousia, Leptospermum, and Alpinia Caerulea.
8. Using Bush Tucker Plants
Evolve your ability to identify, select, and develop processing procudures for a range of selected bush food plants.


You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home.  But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.


The Certificate In Australian Natives requires around 600 hours of study. This is made up of six 100 hour modules.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the six 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass six examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.



  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.




Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and enrol now. 

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Email us at or use our FREE COUNSELLING SERVICE to contact a tutor. 



Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)A graduate of Burnley Horticultural College; Rosemary has over 30 years of experience in horticulture. Her training was extensive covering both amenity and production horticulture; developing pactical skills and a deep understanding of the sciences that underpin horticulture. She worked with the Agriculture Dept in Victoria as a consultant or advisor to both farmers and home gardeners. Over the years, her experience has been as broad as her training, working on radio with ABC radio, a garden editor (with several major publications) and as a teacher, writer, garden designer and consultant. Rosemary has led several garden tours to the UK and Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has written six gardening books and collaborated on many others. Rosemary brings a unique personality, knowledge base and passion to the school; an an infectious love of horticulture in support of our students. She holds a B.Sc Hort,, Dip.Hort.Sc., Dip. Advertising & Marketing and B.Ed.
John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Adriana Fraser (general)Writer, teacher, consultant, horticulturist and sustainable living expert for over 30 years. ACS tutor since the mid 90's, Adriana has written regularly for a range of publications (including Australia's national Grass Roots Magazine) since the early 1980's and continues to be actively involved as a contributor to Home Grown magazine and other publications. Adriana has a Cert.Child Care., Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert in Assessment and Training., Cert.Hort., Adv.Dip.Hort.

Check out our eBooks

Plant LanguageAn essential companion for any horticulture enthusiast, professional or student, this ebook will help you pronounce and understand plant names.
Tropical PlantsThis luscious, illustrated ebook covers hundreds of different plant genera, and many more cultivars. You will learn how to grow plants commonly cultivated in the tropics and subtropics. It contains everything you need to know about growing tropical plants, managing them and working with them (they can be a little temperamental). Many of the plants can also grow in milder climates as indoor plants or in protected places. Previously published in print form by Kangaroo Press (Simon and Schuster).
Plant Pests & DiseasesAre you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into your plant...visit the bookshop to find out more...
Tropical LandscapingTropical Landscaping is a style that may be used more in tropical places, but can still be created in cooler climates. This book provides practical advice and inspiration over 8 chapters: “Garden Design”, “Components of a Tropical Garden”, “Building the Garden”, “Outdoor Living Areas”, “Pools, Ponds and Water Features”, “Lawns”. “Plants (to use), and “Caring for Plants”. 103 pages 69 colour photos