Saturday 7 February 2015

Attenborough's Hawkweed hits the headlines

Wild flowers are in the media again! The Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Guardian yesterday are a mere two months behind this News & Views blog, which trumpeted the announcement of Hieracium attenboroughianum here last December! The new Hawkweed was described in the December issue of New Journal of Botany by BSBI botanist and New Year Plant Hunt co-founder Dr Tim Rich.  He named it in honour of Sir David who we hear is "thrilled".

Attenborough's Hawkweed
Image: T. Rich
If you are a BSBI member, you can read Tim's full paper on Hieracium attenboroughianum here. If you haven't yet joined BSBI, you will only be able to read the abstract, sorry, but there are some Editors' Choices papers free to view right now, such as Sean Cole's story of his lifelong hunt for the Ghost Orchid.

Sean isn't the only one with a story to tell about the quest to see an elusive plant. Another of our New Journal of Botany authors is Peter Llewellyn, who co-authored this paper on Horsetail hybrids (this one is also members-only, sorry!).

I heard that Peter had set himself the challenge of finding one of those infuriating little rarities which will insist on growing in the most inaccessible places. So I contacted him and asked if he would spill the beans: what was his quarry and was he successful in finding it? Peter has agreed to tell us the whole story but we'll have to wait until this Sunday evening for the first installment: once we are all sitting comfortably, then he'll begin. 

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