Day 5 of #30DaysWild is all about wildflowers.
Before I speak about the wildflowers I gathered, I want to touch upon whether you should pick wildflowers or not.
This topic divides opinion amongst many. However after seeking guidance from official sources picking wildflowers is ok as long as you do it responsibly and legally.
Plantlife.org.uk is a good source of information. They state that “Picking parts of a plant (leaves, flower stems, fruit and seed) is OK, as long as you don’t remove or uproot the whole plant”. This information is in accordance to the Legislation under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).
There are however some limitations, you cannot pick wildflowers and it is illegal to do so if the following apply:
• It is a site designated for its conservation interest eg. National Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Britain and Areas of Special Scientific Interest in Northern Ireland.
• The plant or flower is featured on Schedule 8. These plants are highly threatened and are not allowed to be picked. You can view the list on the following website.
• You are not allowed to pick flowers from public parks, community gardens, National Trust property, nature reserves or council areas such as roundabouts. Leave the daffodils are the bluebells to it.
Always remember the following:
Use the one in 20 rule. Only pick one flower for every 20 in the patch. If there are fewer than 20, leave them alone.
Lots of plant species can be poisonous or cause irritation. It can be difficult to identify these plants as sometimes they look so similar. If in doubt leave it alone. You can always take photos instead and try and identify them when you get home.
More information can be found on the Wildflower Society website.
Now onto what I picked during my walk down the River Don in Aberdeen.
I’ve always had a love for wildflowers. As a child I remember spending time looking over a wildflower book from the school library and spending time drawing them.
The 30 Days Wild challenge gave me the idea to try and learn a bit more about wildflowers so after a few walks down to the River Don I decided I’d like to pick a few species and try and identify them. Before I did this though I did some research on whether or not this was allowed and how to go about doing it responsibly.
I also consulted a book I have at home called “Wildlife of Britain” to help me identify which plants I may have already seen and help me identify whether or not they were safe to pick.
Once I took them home I put them in a couple of vases and started to consult my book for an ID.
It was a bit harder than I thought for a few reasons, my book was basic and didn’t have an extensive list and also quite a few plants are very similar.
Having said that I manage to identify the following either from reading my book or from contacts on Twitter.
🤍 Greater Stitchwort – the white flowers which look like they have love hearts for petals.
💗Red Campion – the pink flowers
💜 Germander Speedwell – the little blue/purple flowers
🤍 Cow Parsley – Tiny white flowers in clumps. This was the one I struggled with the most as I tried to determine which species it was. A plant which is fairly similar called Hemlock is poisonous! ☠️
💛 These yellow flowers are either Ragworts or Corn Marigold or Leopards Bane. Still not sure!
What I’ve definitely learned with trying to identify plants is that it is so much more than the flower. To get a true ID you need all the components so you can properly cross reference all the features.
Right, now I’m off to scroll Amazon for Wildflower books! Til next time!