Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Top Ten Families

On Saturday we had a BSBI training meeting which was a first for me - an introduction to the Top Ten Families of wild flowers in Britain.

We had a mixture of attendees including BSBI members, those considering BSBI membership, and local people - some relative beginners while others were wanting to polish up their skills. The venue was the Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve, where we were fortunate enough to be assisted by Joe Phillips and Noreen who are both regular volunteers at the site and were able to escort us round the Reserve.

Members of the course with a range of plant specimens.
The idea behind the course is that within the British flora many of the most common plants belong to a relatively small number of families. By taking the time to examine members of these families in more detail you can become more familiar with them and hopefully for a wide range of plants get to the right section of the book more quickly. Of course, one day is not really long enough but hopefully it was useful.

For anyone that was wondering, the Top Ten Families (for this purpose) are:
Buttercup, Campion, Cabbage, Rose, Pea, Carrot, Deadnettle, Figwort, Daisy, Lily
or if you prefer the more formal names
Ranunculaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Brassicaceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae, Apiaceae, Lamiaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Asteraceae, Liliaceae.

I think there is plenty of room for debate about whether they are really the Top Ten but there are good reasons for choosing them...

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