Flower Power

As some of you may know plants are not my strong point. I’ve always been an animal person. I appreciate that plant are vital for our existence and thanks to school I have a understanding of their basic biology but generally plants and I have just got on and done our separate things, so much so that at University, I chose to take a Genetics module over a plants one! Recently this has begun to change. With the progression of Spring, my ongoing mission to know what everything I see is has found a new subject to concentrate on; one that will not move when I attempt to look at it and is rather pleasing to the eye; Wildflowers.

Being out and about around Staffordshire with the Wildlife Trust, visiting different reserves and habitats means that I can normally find something new. I am lacking in the books on plants department (something I hope to remedy with my birthday next month) so it’s often a case of pointing and saying “What’s that?” with the hope that Lucy or one of the volunteers will know. There have been a few instances where they’ve been unsure, or I’ve been wandering round the grounds of the Wolseley Centre by myself and spotted something, so I’ve taken a photo and told myself I’ll work it out. I realised today that without any sort of ID guide I wasn’t actually going to achieve anything more then filling my phone up with pictures of flowers, so I made a trip to the local library and, from their rather tiny ‘Biology’ section, have borrowed a book on British Wildflowers. Flicking through the pages, I’ve been able to put names to some of my findings and also discovered that plants have pretty cool names!

Below are some photos of some species I think I’ve got to grips with so far. I’m hoping that I can maintain this knowledge so when we get to next spring I don’t have to start learning them all again!

Field Pansy
Field Pansy (Viola arvensis) from Brankley Pastures
Primrose (Primula vulgaris) I think this photo was taken down in Hampshire a few weeks ago. They seem to have come out there  earlier then up here.
Primrose (Primula vulgaris) I think this photo was taken down in Hampshire a few weeks ago. They seem to have come out there earlier then up here.
Cowslip (Primula veris) - from the same Genus as Primrose. These were near Swan Lake at the Wolsely Centre.
Cowslip (Primula veris) – from the same Genus as Primrose. These were near Swan Lake at the Wolsely Centre.
Field Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis arvensis) Beautiful tiny flowers from Cotton Dell
Field Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis arvensis)
Beautiful tiny flowers from Cotton Dell
Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) There seems to be loads of this around at the minute.
Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
Another from Cotton Dell Common Field-Speedwell (Veronica persica)
Another from Cotton Dell
Common Field-Speedwell (Veronica persica)
Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis) Although this looks similar to a Wild Strawberry the larger gaps between the petals and some features on the leaves make it a Barren Strawberry
Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis)
Although this looks similar to a Wild Strawberry the larger gaps between the petals and some features on the leaves make it a Barren Strawberry
This rather funky looking flower is Fritillaria meleagris, also known as Snake's Head Lily or Snake's Head Fritillary.
This rather funky looking flower is Fritillaria meleagris, also known as Snake’s Head Lily or Snake’s Head Fritillary

To some of you more advanced Botanists out there, this may seem like very basic ID but, as I said, I am a complete beginner when it comes to plants. I am enjoying the challenge though, and I end up with some pretty photos 😛 There are a few others things I haven’t been able to identify yet but I don’t want to overload my brain. I must be taking some of it in as I pointed out Dog’s Mercury correctly today, after it being pointed out to me in passing a few weeks ago. I’m looking forward to learning more as we move through the seasons.

Beth 🙂

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