Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

REMINDER: Three wild flower hunts

Three Wild Flower Hunts coming up, all starting at 11 a.m., all free,  and all welcome.

Sunday 31 December 2023:  Brompton Cemetery, a Friends of Brompton Cemetery event.

Report.  Only one person turned up to join the leader on this walk; it’s probable that others were deterred by heavy rain being forecast and leaden skies.  However the rain didn’t materialise, and we were able to spend a pleasant, but chilly, 40 minutes wandering through the Cemetery, and recording a total of 18 species.

Monday 1 January 2024:  Brockwell Park, a South London Botanical Institute event.

Report:  As usual this event was well attended with c.20 people turning up at the start and most staying until the end.  In all 26 species were recorded in flower (up from 21 in 2023, but down from 32 in 2022).

Tuesday 2 January 2024:  Tooting Common, a Friends of Tooting Common event.

Report: Three people braved persistent heavy rain to spend about an hour wandering around the Common trying to find plants in flower, and eventually succeeding in finding 19 species.  This was slightly up on 2023, when only 18 species were recorded (due, it’s assumed, to snow in December), but far fewer than 2022, when 37 species were found in flower.  A list of the plants recorded is available from

‘Very interesting.’

General comments: As of 6 January, the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland has received 2,128 lists of plants recorded in flower between 30 December 2023 and 2 January 2024.  The longest list, 100 species, was made in Swanage, Dorset, on 1 January, but the average number of species recorded was 10.3.

Images:  upper, Roy Vickery, Brompton Cemetery, London  Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, December 2023, © Carlos Bruzon; lower, hawkweed ox-tongue, Picris hieracioides, Brockwell Park, London Borough of Lambeth (also seen in Brompton Cemetery), 1 January 2024.

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