You are here: Home > Learn > Courses > Botanical Identification for Improvers: Developing further ID skills
Wed 9th May 2018
Courses & Workshops
Botanical Identification for Improvers: Developing further ID skills
Learning to accurately identify wildflowers requires a variety of skills; these include understanding botanical terminology and vocabulary, identifying the parts of a flower/plant, and the use of keys. This course aims to help the improving botanist or ecologist get to grips with identification and tackles each stage, from initial dissection, identifying the floral parts, writing a floral formulae (which aids recognition of the relevant plant family), through to using a key for the final identification.
Time: 10am to 4pm
Venue: The Haven next to Three Hagges Wood-Meadow
Cost: £40 (plus booking fee)

Course Overview

We will concentrate on using Stace’s New Flora of the British Isles which is the reference flora for field botanists and ecologists. This course gives an introduction to how to use this flora and how to side-step some of the complexities of the keys.

Starting with a revision of the basic botanical structures and terminology, we will then concentrate on the key features for a range of garden and wildflowers, firstly getting them to families and then to genera and species. Detailed study will be made of individual species and their particular characteristics and how they fit into their families. During this course, you will have the opportunity to practice your plant identification skills using a range of identification resources, particularly Floras (identification books).

By the end of the course, you will be familiar with a wide range of botanical terminology and be able to start to place a variety of plants into families.

Course Tutor

Mark Duffell has had a lifetime interest in plants gaining the RHS Diploma in Horticulture, becoming 'Young Horticulturist of the Year' in 2001 and completing an MSc in Biological Recording and Species Identification. He now runs Arvensis Ecology splitting his time between conducting botanical surveys and teaching botanical identification and survey techniques to undergraduate and postgraduate students of universities, consultants, and environmental organisations.

Timetable (provisional)

Morning: Presentation and workshop on naming of parts and how to go about identifying Wildflowers using keys and other resources.

Afternoon: Looking at specimens and keying them out along with viewing them in the meadows and woods of Three Hagges Wood (weather and time-dependent).

Lunch break and breaks (if the weather is fine we will eat lunch in the meadow).