Wild flower guide book

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Wild flower guide book

Post by podimore@gmail.com »

Recommendations for a wildflower and grass guidebook with photographic illustrations to help identify the many things popping through in our new semi wild garden on the Blackdowns. Thanks!
Richard Lewis
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by Richard Lewis »

Collin's Wild Flower Guide by David Streeter and The Wild Flower Key by Francis Rose and Claire O'Reilly are currently the best field guides with illustrations of almost all the native and naturalised plants you are likely to find in the British Countryside. The former includes grasses, ferns etc, which the latter omits. There are multiple reasons why these both use illustrations rather than photos, This is much more expensive for the publishers, but is much better for the user as it allows clear images of all the important identification features.

The confusingly similarly named Collin's British Wild Flower Guide is a simpler version which covers all the commoner plants and leaves out many of the more scarce species, so is easier to use for beginners. For those just getting started, I would recommend some of the FSC fold-out guides to specific taxonomic groups and habitats: https://www.field-studies-council.org/p ... -out-guide and also Faith Anstey's excellent guides to plant families and common grasses: https://www.wildflowerstudy.co.uk/

Be aware that in a garden setting, you are likely to also encounter a range of self-seeded garden plants that may not be covered by any of these books.

Good courses in plant ID are unfortunately hard to find. BSBI are currently updating their excellent 'Identiplant' course which has proved popular: https://identiplant.co.uk/identwp19/ and if you can, it's worth joining some of the Devonshire Association or BSBI field meetings to learn from experts in the field.

Another avenue to explore is websites/apps such as iSpot and iNaturalist, where you can upload photos and information about the plants and get help from a range of experts and enthusiasts to help Id your plants.

Have fun exploring your new garden!
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by LauraM »

I am posting regular species identification and species interaction posts on the Big Meadow Search Facebook group and Twitter (@bigmeadowsearch) that might be of interest. All welcome
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by clemclem »

..Or if you fancy something digital, have a look at the 'Picture This' app which you can download on your phone. You simply take a photo of the tree/plant and it tells you what it is, along with some background information. It seems to get it right 99% of the time! Think it costs about £25
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by jackieandrade »

I’ve been using the iNaturalist app and find it more accurate than picture this for UK species. My go to book is Harraps Wild Flowers but I also love A New Devon Flora which is now available free online - it’s very useful for working out what is likely to be growing where you are
David Crook
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by David Crook »

There is another app you can use called Seek. Its free and seems pretty good.
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by MikeB »

I have used Seek on my iPhone and found it works well
Orlando Rutter
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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by Orlando Rutter »

If you like having the solution on your phone you can also use iSpot Nature (beware iSpot-other apps; takes you all sorts of places).

I have used iSpot Nature with schools, community groups and volunteer citizen scientists.

Not only do you get to identify species (and goes beyond plants) but you can log findings and help map species distribtution at a national scale. Also has lots of free resources for further learning.


Be warned: Can be a bit of a rabbit hole - have fun exploring.

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Re: Wild flower guide book

Post by Sarah »

Somerset Wildlife Trust are using iNaturalist and Seek (ID) for their Wilder Somerset 2030 nature recovery network. They’re linked and free. Easy to use. And I think may be being used more widely to provide baseline and track changes with UK nature recovery.
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