Thursday, 15 January 2015

It's Snowdrop Time! Have you got your Crawley?

Snowdrops in bloom at Welford, Berks.
Image courtesy M. Crawley
Reports are coming in of Snowdrops beginning to flower. 

We received quite a few Snowdrop records and photographs during the New Year Plant Hunt, but only those populations which were naturalised - rather than planted - met the criteria for inclusion on the list of 368 wild or naturalised species in flower at New Year.

That doesn't mean we can't enjoy spotting these beautiful flowers, but they can be tricky to identify to species, and as for all those garden cultivars...
Mick Crawley (centre), Lynne Farrell (VC Recorder for Mull)
& author Peter Marren at Pearman Celebration Day, Kew
Image: BSBI Publicity Team 2014 
Fortunately help is at hand: botanists heading out into the field this month will be packing up their "Poland" and their "Stace" but they will also be saying "Where's my Crawley?"

They are talking about this excellent ID Guide to Snowdrops, free to download here and from the BSBI website. The man himself is probably leaping out of a helicopter like Milk Tray Man or being all professorial over hereBut on left is a rare glimpse of him at Kew in September, when he came to our celebrations in tribute to David Pearman