The Wildflower Key
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The wild flower guide that I use most often is 'The Wildflower Key' by Francis Rose. Although it is possible to just look at the (excellent) illustrations to identify the wild flowers you find, you'll get more out of it if you use the keys to help you make the correct identification.
Keys can seem intimidating if you haven't used them before, but once you get over the initial learning curve, you quickly realise how useful they are. A key will actually make you look at the the way the flower is put together, and teach you to notice features you might otherwise overlook such as the arrangement of the leaves on the stem.
Read more: Plant field guides
As it was a beautifully sunny day on Sunday 23 April, a walk out with the camera seemed like a good idea, so I decided on a stroll along the Peak Forest Canal, starting at New Mills.
There were a few butterflies to be seen, Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), Comma (Polygonia c-album) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Read more: Peak Forest Canal - signs of spring
Sphagna are distinctive mosses found in wet habitats in the British Isles, which formed most of the peat found in blanket bogs and raised bogs. This peat forms an important store of carbon.
There are 34 species of British Sphagna, which all share a few basic features:-
- a single stem ending in a capitulum
- side branches (both hanging and spreading) coming off the stem in groups known as fascicles
- stem and branch leaves made of a network of smaller, green, living cells and larger, clear dead cells which are able to hold a lot of water
Read more: Identifying bog moss (Sphagna)