Back in 2015, we brought you news on these pages of a new support group on Facebook aimed at guiding beginner and improver botanists through the use of keys to identify wild flowers.
The brainchild of Notts. botanist Kevin Widdowson, 'Botanical Keys and How to Use Them' had amassed 439 members in its first few months and we added it to the list of 'Helpful Hints for Getting Started in Botany' here and invited Kevin along to the 2015 BSBI Exhibition Meeting to demonstrate how the Facebook group worked.
Two years on and Kevin's Facebook group has 1982 members, the blogpost about it has been viewed 1336 times and Kevin has just come up with another fabulous idea! Over to Kevin to tell us about it:
"Now that the main flowering season has come to
an end I have been looking for ways to continue my botanical study through the
late autumn and winter. I really enjoy winter botany, it gives me a reason to
get out and about in the cold weather.
"Usually my interest is in winter tree
identification but recently identifying plants by their fruit character has
caught my attention. What has really inspired me is the weird and wonderful
ways plants have evolved to protect and disperse their seed.
"With this in mind I
have been taking photographs of any fruit I can get my hands on and attempting
to capture their function and intrinsic beauty. After a while I had built up
quite a collection and decided to put some of my favourite ones together on a
"Now, after much persuasion I have decided to make this poster and an
accompanying identification sheet available for purchase."
Ok I admit to being one of the many people who saw Kevin's poster and said, you have to make this available for people, with an option to buy a copy! So he's produced an A3 poster and a double-sided identification sheet printed on A4 card (silhouette on one side, list of plant names on the other).
You can see the poster (top right) and the silhouette (top left) and two extra close-ups of mystery plants which don't appear on the poster. Why not see how many of the species you can identify by these fruits?
We'll post the list of names on Saturday night but if you can't wait, you can head over here and buy a print copy! (They also make great presents for botanically-minded friends.)!
Or you can just download the photos and have fun trying to guess which fruit is which. Kevin's aim here isn't to make his fortune, it's just to get people looking at fruits and finding new ways to enjoy their botany.
You can also head over here and listen to Kevin talking about his fruity project on the second 'Wild Flower Half Hour' podcast.