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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 2355 library orientation.For this assignment, use the boxes below to locate sources for your list of plant references. Information on how to create APA citations is at the bottom.

Email me or Schedule an Appointment using the links below my picture on the Get Started page.

~ Celia Brinkerhoff, Horticulture Librarian

Finding books and ebooks


Use the library's Summon search box (below and on the homepage) to quickly locate information in a variety of formats from across the entire collection. This is your best tool for finding quick access to a wide range of sources on your topic.

If you are off-campus, you will need to log in with your KPU ID to access any of the online resources.




TIP: Use the content type filter to limit your search results to books and ebooks or chapters. 

Here's a short video with tips on better searching in Summon.

Print books in the library are arranged according to a classification system and assigned call numbers. These are like addresses for books.

You may prefer to head directly to the stacks and browse for books of interest. Below are some broad call number ranges where you'll find books on plants, garden design, propagation, pest control and more.

If you find an item of interest using Summon, record the call number for locating the item on the shelf. Related books will be located in the same area.

Plant Materials books will be found in either of two call number ranges, depending on whether they are focussed on taxonomy and identification (plant science/botany), or the cultivation of particular plants and landscaping (horticulture).

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 
SB473 — Gardens --design

Finding online sources

As you saw above, Summon search provides the quickest way to locate information on your topic by searching across the entire library collection. You will see results from online scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers, as well as streaming video and DVD. 

Access Summon from the search box below or on the library's homepage.




TIP: From your search results, use the Content Type filter and select magazine, trade publication, scholarly journal, or all of these.

KPU library subscribes to thousands of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals related to topics in horticulture and plant science. 

To access this content, use the Best Bet databases links off the Find articles on your topic page of this guide.

Publications from Government, NGOs and Associations

Extension literature is science-based information about a range of horticultural topics 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 practitioners, 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 information on shade gardening in the Northwest, on the extension sites. Note the site limit to .edu; this ensures that only sites from the domain .edu will be retrieved.

Click on the image to see the results of the search. 

Google search results for shade gardening in the northwest, restricted to Extension sites


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
  • exact phrase searching keeps search terms together
  • 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.

Finding Images

For Creative Commons or Public Domain images with permitted usage, KPU has a page on its copyright guide: Images- How to Find, Use, and Cite

For collections with a horticultural or botanical focus, see the following. In most cases, look for a filter with a Creative Commons or Public Domain license that will allow for educational/non-commercial uses.

Even though an image may be used without permission, you will still need to cite its source. 

Citing your sources

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

Practice citing

The library's APA guide also has some practice exercises that will be a good refresher for this assignment.