Agronomy and Horticulture Department



A Place to Call Home

Date of this Version


Document Type



Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary (PASSeL) Lessons.


Copyright 2019, Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary. Used by permission.

This project was supported in part by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants CAP project 2011-68002-30029 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, administered by the University of California-Davis and by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education, National SMETE Digital Library Program, Award #0938034, administered by the University of Nebraska. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA or NSF.



We’ve discussed families and diversity, and danced around the edges of plant communities. Since the beginning of time, human beings from different families have come together to form communities. The simplest reason for this behavior is survival: safety in numbers, ability to share tasks and build on strengths. The strongest communities are those that meet the basic survival needs of their members and then some, providing other elements that support thriving and growth. These communities then truly become home to their inhabitants. If left to their own devices, herbaceous plants also form communities in environments conducive to their survival. In this lesson, we will explore some of the natural plant communities that include herbaceous plants, how managed or manipulated environments differ, and what is necessary to meet the needs of perennial plants.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate an environment into which herbaceous plants could be introduced, and make recommendations for its modification
  • Select specific plant communities and choose and group herbaceous plants that might form a similar community in a managed landscape
  • Describe how an urban or disturbed site can be manipulated to form plant communities based on specific needs
  • Support a position favoring or disagreeing with significant manipulation of sites to create specialized growing conditions and communities