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The purpose of this study is to examine how many plant names elementary school children know, and what kind of criteria they use for classifying these plants. The sample involved 926 students from the 2nd, the 4th, and the 6th grades dwelling in one urban, three suburban, and six rural areas. Their level of perception on the name of plants increased in correlation to the elevation of the grade level. However, different patterns of increases were shown depending on the local environments in which they live. The most well-known plant names for students were the rose of Sharon, the rose and the pine tree. The students mostly classified the plants using the following criteria such as 'with or without flower' and 'edible or inedible' regardless as to whether they had prior learning experience of plant classification. 65.3% of the 6th graders correctly grouped 5 kinds of plants into the flowering and the non-flowering plant categories at the 1st level of classification. However, only 17.9% and 7.7% correctly divided the flowering and the non-flowering plants into two subgroups at the 2nd level of classification respectively. Therefore, their abilities in plant classification was shown overall to be poor. The students living in suburban areas appeared to be harmonized with both the natural and urbanized surroundings and classified the plants more scientifically than those from the urban or rural areas were able to. This suggests that the conception of plant classification by children is affected by the environment in which they live. If children have more opportunities to observe plants in surroundings such as their classrooms and school gardens, it will help them to form the relevant scientific concepts as well as to correct any alternative conceptions related to classification.