Wednesday, 27 February 2019

New BSBI Handbooks in the pipeline

Mark Lynes working on Alchemilla specimens:
 "What big teeth you have grandma..."
Image: M. Lynes
BSBI's series of Handbooks for difficult plants are among the society's most popular publications

Following a revamp of the BSBI website, they now have a page all of their own

The rumour is that insiders are now placing bets on which will be the next Handbook to go to press. 

Will it be the Alchemilla (lady's-mantles) Handbook, whose author Mark Lynes regularly tweets tantalising photos of specimens he's working on? Mark has recently submitted an Alchemilla manuscript to British & Irish Botany - exciting!


Tim Rich talking about Gentians at the
2018 Recorders' Conference
Image: S. Whild
Or will it be Mike Shaw's forthcoming Handbook on southern hawkweeds? 

At a recent meeting of BSBI's Publications Committee, Chair John Poland reported that work is going well and Mike hopes to publish very soon.

We also heard at the 2018 Recorders' Conference that ace botanist Tim Rich of Plant Crib fame is planning, with fellow top botanist Andy McVeigh, to publish a handbook on Gentians (see slide 2 of Tim's fabulous Gentian PPT here).


Irina working on willow specimens
Image courtesy of SLBI
And now here's a wild card: Roy Vickery has sent me a photo (below right) of willow expert Irina Belyaeva working on herbarium specimens of willows Salix spp. at the South London Botanical Institute with a note saying "Irina is working on SLBI's willow specimens for the BSBI's new Willow Handbook which she hopes to complete by the end of the year".

So place your bets now - which will be BSBI Handbook #19: lady's-mantles, as expected? Or Mike Shaw's southern hawkweeds? Will Tim Rich come up on the inside lane and reach the finishing line first? Or will Irina's new Willow Handbook pip all other contenders to the post? Or maybe it will be a dead heat! 

One thing's certain - you'll need to clear some space on your bookshelves to make way for all these forthcoming BSBI Handbooks!

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