Friday, 28 August 2015

Daffodils (native & non-native) on Radio Four

Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Courtesy of Floral Images
http://www.floralimages.co.uk/page.php?
taxon=narcissus_pseudonarcissus,1
Have you noticed that we are starting to hear more botany on Radio Four? Earlier this month, Dr Mark Spencer was on the Infinite Monkey Cage talking about forensic botany and now here is another Natural History Museum botanist (and BSBI member) taking to the airwaves!

Dr Fred Rumsey was on 'Natural Histories' on Monday and you can catch the programme again here on iPlayer. Fred was talking about Daffodils - which of the ones we see outside gardens are native and which are naturalised garden plants? Where do the wild daffodils grow? 

How about the Tenby daffodil, a "botanical conundrum"? Fred checks out historic herbarium sheets and refers to Gerard's Herbal and Sowerby's English Botany to tell us about the first UK record of this plant.

Mick Crawley (centre) with Lynne Farrell & Peter Marren
Image: L. Marsh
Identifying daffodils to species or cultivar level can be very tricky but fortunately Prof Mick Crawley put together this excellent ID key on his Daffodil Site. It's free to download (non-commercial use only) so next spring, why not try out Mick's ID key on any Daffodils you find in the wild? 

And if you are interested in recording cultivated plants which have 'jumped the garden fence' and become naturalised, Mick is running an urban botany field meeting in Welwyn Garden City next month where participants will encounter alien plants "in all stages of naturalisation". Booking details here but act quickly if interested - I think most spaces have already been filled.