30 March, 2016

Spring flowers

Winter always wrecks havoc on my natural history knowledge, and I find my first few spring outings are usually spent getting to grips with the various flora and fauna I've simply forgotten the names of since I last saw them a year ago.

This is especially true when it comes to plants. People often tell me that all moths look brown and confusing, but plants are a whole new level of baffling - especially when all you have to go by are the leaves! Last year I bought myself one of those vegetative keys; completely devoid of pictures but with a promise on the blurb that the key will make identification of wild flowers 'swift and easy' for beginners with use of a 'minimal number of technical terms'. Excited and eager, I turned to the description for Bluebell and my heard sank:

"Lvs 3-6, 0.7-1.6cm wide. Raceme 1-sided. Fls all soon nodding, fragrant; stamens unequal; anthers cream"

I've been too frightened to use the key since. Luckily, the plants in flower today on my stroll to the local woods weren't quite so hard to identify...

Greater Stitchwort

Ground-ivy

Ivy-leaved Speedwell

Barren Strawberry

Lesser Swine-cress

Bluebell


Wood Anemone

A carpet of Lesser Celandine

It well and truly felt like spring, but I'm now beginning to wonder whether the lure of such fantastic countryside just a 15 minutes walk from my student house is going to prove detrimental in the last few months of my degree!

1 comment:

Andrew Cunningham said...

I borrowed a copy of the vegetative key and decided not to buy one for the same reasons. Where's the joy without the flower.