So you want to know your wildflowers but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips that should set you on your way.
There are lots of guides out there but it’s important to find one that suits your learning style. A good starting point would be Harrap’s Wildflower guide or, for the more adventurous, why not try The Wildflower key by Francis Rose and Claire O’Reilly?
Whilst wildflower hunting is great for a bit of me time, going out with other interested people is one of the best ways to improve your wildflower identification skills. Why not try and find a local flora group or even start your own? You can ask your local Vice County recorder for information.
Some field guides may ask you to look for specific features on a plant to confirm identification. These features may be small so having a hand lens magnifier is essential for getting a closer look. Follow this link to see some examples:
Local wildlife organisations often host events or training on wildflower identification. These are great places to meet like minded people and pick up a bit of local knowledge.
There are many wildflower organisations that are more than willing to help. Look out for the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), Plantlife and The Wildflower Society. All are membership organisations but they also offer lots of free advice and identification tips.
Obviously the #wildflowerhour community are always here to help but you can also find identification tips on Facebook groups like ‘Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland’ and ‘Botanical Keys and How to use Them’
Increase your skills – If you want to go further with your plant identification skills check out this leaflet from the BSBI and try to level up!
Guidance – It’s important to be responsible when out in the field looking for plants. The BSBI have produced a great code of conduct for how a good botanist should behave.
Most of all enjoy finding out about our rich and varied flora, you never know where it may take you.