Most Britons in the dark when it comes to identifying wildflowers
The interactive Great British Wild Flower Hunt includes nearly 50 flowers to identify.
The majority of people cannot correctly identify some widespread UK wildflowers – but most would like to know more about wild plants, a survey suggests.
While 70% were able to name bluebells, a national favourite, 80% could not identify a common dog-violet, even though it is found across 97% of the UK, with only one person giving its full correct name.
And almost three quarters (74%) could not name red clover when shown a picture of the flower.
But 70% of the 2,132 people quizzed by YouGov for wildlife charity Plantlife agreed that they would like to know more about wildflowers.
There was also interest among younger people, as while only 11% of 16 to 24-year-olds felt confident they could name many wildflowers, 56% expressed a desire to be able to identify more.
The findings of the survey are being released as Plantlife launches the interactive Great British Wild Flower Hunt, which includes nearly 50 flowers to identify, and allows hunters to filter photos by colour, mark off flowers spotted and earn “flower points” for what they spot.
The beautiful Common Dog-violet found in the woodland of Aros Park. The leaves can be used to make a tea substitute drink - or an eye toner! pic.twitter.com/M24CL0amvL— Mull Magic (@MullMagic) May 23, 2017
Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife botanical specialist, said: “White, yellow, pink, blue – wildflowers appear in the cracks in the pavement, under hedgerows and by our roadsides. But what are their names?
“It’s exciting to know that people have told us they want to know more about the ‘extraordinary ordinary’ pop of colour in a normal day – particularly over half the 16 to 24-year-olds we polled.
“The Great British Wild Flower Hunt gives you the facts and folklore in an easy, fun way, and you can share information on social media and find out what other people have found in your neighbourhood.”
The hunt is part of the Forget-me-not campaign, which Plantlife developed in response to the Oxford Junior Dictionary dropping plant names such as bluebell and blackberry from its latest edition, because they were not as relevant for children today.
But Marian Spain, chief executive of Plantlife, said: “If you think back to a really happy moment in your childhood, are you inside or outside? Plantlife’s bet is that you are outside, surrounded by nature.
“Lots of us love wildflowers but can feel unconfident around them and want to know more.
“The Great British Wild Flower Hunt is designed to do just that. You can do it on your phone or print off the sheets, and take them with you while you’re walking the dog, with toddlers in the park, or out on a country stroll.
“It’s all about people reconnecting with wildflowers.”To join the Great British Wild Flower Hunt, people can go to: www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflowerhunt