BIOL 240

Monteregian Flora (3 Credits)

July 14th - 26th, 2019

Course Website - Additional Information & Application Form

V. Millien (Coordinator)
Redpath Museum, Rm 202
(514) 398-4848
M. Lapointe
BIOL 111 or permission of the instructor. The course has been taken successfully by students in Arts, Architecture, Education and Management as well as Science.
Students who have already taken PLNT 358 (Plant Science) cannot take this course, but PLNT 358 can be taken after taking BIOL 240.
This course is an introduction to the diversity of plants in the area surrounding Montreal, Quebec, concentrating specifically in the Saint Lawrence River Valley and on one of the Monteregian Hills, Mont Saint Hilaire.  Plant groups studied include fern allies, ferns, conifers and flowering plants.  Studies will be conducted at McGill's Gault Nature Reserve field station where there are dormitories, a laboratory and a wide variety of habitats and different plant communities.  Emphasis will be on field and laboratory work but some lectures will be included for background material.  The course will focus mainly on plant identification, including sight recognition and use of taxonomic keys.  You will learn over 200 species in the context of their habitats.  For each plant group, lectures will present key characteristics for field identification of family and genera.  Fieldwork will include exercises in field recognition and keying.  We will take advantage of the diversity of habitat found on and around Mont Saint Hilaire to study a variety of hardwood and conifer forests, rock outcrops, marshes, bogs, floodplains and lakes.  Fieldwork will also include habitat analysis with the goal of explaining and predicting species occurrence.
Class handouts and required textbook: Newcomb, Lawrence 1977. Newcomb's Wild Flower Guide, Little, Brown Co. Boston (paper ISBN 0-316-60442-9)
Course is taught at the Gault Nature Reserve field station where students and staff are in residence during the week.  Mornings will be devoted to lectures and observations in the field and afternoons to laboratory sessions.  Fieldwork will consist of hiking (possibly in rain) to make plant collections, sight identification of plants, and habitat analyses.  There is a course fee for lodging,  meals, the textbook and course supplies.  Students MUST contact Susan Gabe ( to secure permission to register for the course on Minerva and contact the course coordinator ( for more details on course and appropriate preparations for field work.  The course runs two weeks in mid-July, exact dates varying slightly year to year.  Contact the course coordinator well in advance to discuss the course schedule and logistics. For more information on the course, consult the BIOL 240 Course website.
Grades will be based on field sight identification, plant keying and class contribution.  The quiz and exam format includes a mix of field and laboratory identifications.

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).

Last update: March 20, 2019