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Resources for your research in horticutlure


This page provides a summary of the Library resources and research tools we explored in the HORT 1155 library orientation. I will keep it up for you for the remainder of the semester. Check back from time to time for updated content. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if you'd like me to include additional links you found helpful.

Celia Brinkerhoff, Hortliculture Librarian

Annotated bibliographies

For this assignment, you are being asked to prepare an annotated bibliography of your sources.

An annotated bibliography is both a properly formatted citation (in this case, using APA style), plus a paragraph discussing the source. Your discussion should briefly summarize the source, and also include some evaluative assessment of it. You may wish to tell your readers about the usefulness of a source for your own topic, how it compares to other sources on the topic, and how you will incorporate the source into your own work.

Be critical. What makes this a good resource, and why should it be shared?

The references in an annotated bibliography will be arranged just as you would a typical  reference list, but with the addition of your summarizing paragraph directly below each. While your reference is indented on the second line ("hanging indent"), your paragraph will be indented on the first line. See the examples from the guides below. Your annotations must be at least 150 words, and be written in paragraph format, not a bulletted list.

Start your research here

Try one of our many plant encyclopedias or handbooks. The following print books are located in the stacks at the Langley campus Library. Use the links below for more information about the titles and how to find them.

Or, start with one of the following online resources:

Plant names

Additional tools

Click on the cover of these titles to find their location in the Library.

For checking plant identification terminology, consult these titles:

Use the library catalogue to locate books

For your assignment, your primary focus should be on getting familiar with the library collection of print books and journals/magazines. There are a couple of ways to do this: 

Search the library catalogue by keyword or subject (also author or title) for books on your topic. 

Not sure how to use the catalogue? This brief video will provide some tips.




Browse by call number

In your Library orientation, we looked at searching for items in the catalogue. But you might prefer to browse our collection, especially at the beginning of your research.

Plant ID books will be found in either of two call number ranges, depending on whether they are focussed on taxonomy and identification, or the cultivation of particular plants.

QK Botany (Plant Science SB Horticulture
QK9 —dictionaries, taxonomies, glossaries  SB117—Seeds, propagation 
QK115 — Trees  SB169 — Tree crops 
QK600 —Mosses, Fungi, Ferns  SB175 — Food crops 
QK660— Seeds  SB403 —Flowers and ornamentals 
S590 —Soils  SB421 —Classes of plants 
  SB469 —Landscape architecture 
  SB600— Plant health, pests/diseases 


Publications from Government, NGOs and Associations

Extension literature is science-based information about a range of agricultural topics of interest to farmers and growers, most often produced by U.S. universities and governmental bodies charged with communicating this information to their user groups. Resources include reports from on-farm and participatory research, factsheets and best practices written for producers, as well as training materials and grant opportunities.  

The easiest way to access this body of literature is to include the word "extension" in your Google searches, and to limit your search to the .edu domain. 

Here is an example of a quick search for biochar on the extension sites. Click on the image to see the results of the search.

Try the Google Advanced Search page to structure your searches so that you get a better set of results. 

Limiting your searches:

  • with the file type limit, try looking just for documents in PDF, the most common file format for documents and reports that are formally published
  • with the site or domain limit, try restricting your searches to a website (i.e. or domain (i.e. .edu).
  • experiment with specifying where your search terms should appear in the results: anywhere in the page, in the title of the page, or in the URL of the page


Here's a quick video demonstrating some of the features of Advanced Google Search. Thanks to Manchester Metropolitan University.

Citing your sources

Refer to the Library's APA citation style guide for examples of properly formatted references.