Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland: A New Guide to Our Wild Flowers Paperback – 30 Jun 2003
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Before becoming one of the leading botanical illustrators in Europe she was in turn a photographer, actress, wartime Red Cross nurse and ambulance driver, and with her husband Philip ran a Cornish dairy farm for 20 years. They sold the farm in 1968 to make field botany and painting a new career.
The most successful writer of natural history field guides in Europe. He has a lifetime of field experience.
Alastair drew the maps. He is Richard's younger son, and Professor of Biology at the University of York. In September 2003 he will become President of the British Ecological Society.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Sample from the book:
Cranesbills Geranium. All except Shining Cranesbill (p. 176), conspicuously hairy or downy. Flowers 5-petalled, divided below by size. Distinguished from storksbills (p. 178) by their toothed and palmately lobed leaves, usually deeply cut to more than half-way. Fruit with five segments curling upwards from the base when ripe and ending in a long pointed beak, the cranes bill. Only the most frequent of the 15 or more naturalised species and hybrids are described below, divided into large, medium, and small flowers (p. 176).
Flowers large, 20mm or more across
1 Meadow Cranesbill. Geranium pratense. A most handsome medium/tall perennial, stems long-hairy, often reddish, to 1m. Flowers a soft violet blue, petals not notched, 25- 30mm; June-Sept. Leaves 7-9-lobed, cut almost to base. Fruit stalks bent down when ripe.
Grassland on lime, mainly in the lowlands, especially the Cotswold road verges. Numerous cultivars, hybrids and similar species are liable to escape, the most frequent being 1a Purple Cranesbill G. o magnificum, whose slightly larger, more purplish flowers have
notched petals; leaves less deeply cut.
2 Wood Cranesbill Geranium sylvaticum. Much like Meadow Cranesbill (1), near which it may grow in N England, but has rather smaller, mauver and less blue flowers, the petals sometimes slightly notched; June-August; stems to 75cm, leaves less deeply cut and fruit stalks erect when ripe. Open woods, hedge-banks, upland meadows, moors, mountain
3 Bloody Cranesbill Geranium sanguineum. A showy, clump-forming short perennial, to 40cm. Flowers bright red-purple (sometimes pink on Walney I, Cumbria), 25-30mm; May-August. Leaves small, 5-7-lobed, narrowly and sharply cut. Dry grassland, dunes,
rocks, mainly on limy soils; also a widespread garden escape.
4 French Cranesbill Geranium endressii. Short/medium perennial, to 60cm. Flowers
deep salmon-pink, the veins darkening as they fade, 24-28mm; May-August. Leaves broadly 5-lobed. A frequent garden escape. Its hybrid with Pencilled Cranesbill (5), G. o oxonianum, is very similar, with flowers deep to pale pink, the veins often conspicuous,
and no ripe fruits; may be commoner than French Cranesbill.
5 Pencilled Cranesbill Geranium versicolor is quite distinct from both French Cranesbill (4) and the hybrid (as well as all other native or escaped cranesbills), having flowers white or very pale lilac, with purple veins; leaves less deeply cut.Aless frequent garden escape.
Flowers medium, 10-20mm across
6 Herb Robert Geranium robertianum. A strong-smelling short/medium hairy annual, with stems often reddish, to 50cm. Flowers clear deep pink, occasionally white, petals not notched, pollen orange; 14-18mm; Apr-Nov. Leaves 3/5-lobed. Fruits slightly ridged. Woods, hedge- and other banks, shingle (when may be prostrate and hairless), mountain screes.
7 Little Robin Geranium purpureum. Often taller and greener than Herb Robert (6), of which it may be a subspecies, with smaller (7-14mm) flowers, yellow pollen, more narrowly cut leaves and more conspicuously ridged fruits. Dry, often limy banks, shingle (when often prostrate) and cliffs by the sea.
Petals deeply notched:
Hedgerow, Dovesfoot, Small-flowered, Cut-leaved
Purple, Wood, Bloody, French, Pencilled, Round-leaved,
Long-stalked, not notched:
Meadow, Wood, Herb Robert, Little Robin, Shining,
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The format is very similar to the "Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe" by the same authors, published by Collins. However, all the illustrations are new and improved. The previous guide's plates were often blurred or otherwise lacking in definition, a problem that does not occur here. A further improvement is the provision of maps that are small enough not to include for the majority of species yet large enough to allow for a fair amount of detail.
The section on grasses is new and particularly useful, truly enabling the user to identify all the flowering plants in the region.
The only other competitor would be Rose's "Wildflower Key" which I have in a 1981 edition, having not seen the current 2006 issue. All in all, the present guide is superior.
All of these sections are illustrated brilliantly by Blamey. For example the grass section with its easy to follow key and all the grass flowers laid out in painstaking detail has made grass ID a far more pleasurable experience than it ever was using Hubbard. And for those people who think that illustrations are second best to a photograph think again. They make the illustrations in books like the Wildflower Key (Rose) look flat and lifeless and yet contain not of the distracting background that characterises many photographs. They manage to capture the vitality of each plant without obscuring detail.
Having used this book in the field several times I find that I always use this book when I know which family a particular flower belongs to. For those plants that I am unfamiliar with or that are not in flower I use the keys in Rose and then look the answer up in this book.
All in all this is a fantastic book for anyone who is not an absolute beginner (if really helps if you can recognise the plant families) and the only reason it does not get 5 stars is the lack of a vegetative key. If they were to revise it and include one then it would be perfect and I would certainly buy another.
If you're happy to take out something like Stace's (baby) Field Flora to use alongside, this book is brilliant as the lack of keys is irrelevant. But really, I feel that for a book of this size (it's really too big and heavy for a pocket), there should be more info - especially keys.
One other thing to bear in mind with this book is that it is not the most up to date. The Collins photoguides are reviewed and revised every couple of years or so, but this has not been updated since 2003. This can have an impact on the location of plant species and even the Latin names being out of date. For example the book refers to the common twayblade as listera ovata when more recent research has re-classified it as neottia ovata.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has everything required for the identification of uk and Irish flora
It is a first class publication and for me has answered a few queries. Read more
For many years I have been a fan of Blamey, Fitter and Fitter's excellent Wildflowers of Britain and Northern Europe but as I seldom stray beyond these shores, it was often hard to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ukhuman1st
This is such a lovely book with great illustrations to help anyone identify any wild flower in our country. An excellent purchase and well priced.
This is a substantially revised and updated version of an earlier guide by the same authors. The earlier guide had an easy to use and simple guide at the start which was usually,... Read morePublished on 31 July 2012 by Arthur
I generally prefer to have photographic comparisons of species but I do very much appreciate and enjoy this guide with its painted images. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2011 by Belochka
This guide to wild flowers is extremely useful because it includes grasses, sedges and ferns. There are distribution maps for each species beside the descriptions, with... Read morePublished on 30 May 2010 by Amazon Customer
If you want a readily-portable guide, this is the one for you. It is more manageable and covers a wider range of species than the recently revised Wild Flower Key by the late,... Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 2007 by Bristly Badger
I have to agree with Peter White. russvarley is right in stating that the whole book is a key. However, unless you know the plant you're looking at is, say, in the carrot family,... Read morePublished on 10 May 2006 by J Grainger