Tuesday, 19 December 2017

New winter twig ID key!

Exciting news: John Poland - of Vegetative Key to the British Flora fame - is about to publish another book! 

We've been hearing rumours for some time that John was working on an ID key to winter twigs and it looks as though we're about to get lucky!

John was at the recent BSBI Exhibition Meeting running a winter twig ID quiz. He told me: 

"At this time of year I think a lot of botanists hibernate or yearn for the forthcoming season. However there is plenty to see in winter, even with snow on the ground! 

"Planted (and native) trees, shrubs and woody climbers [collectively known as xylophytes] are often ignored yet they quietly enrich our lives and provide a great deal of curiosity for those fascinated with novel ID characters. 

"Just my lunchtime walk around the local streets and green spaces yields 81 species of deciduous woody plant. I’m sure some News & Views readers can beat 100 in an hour!"

So, a gauntlet thrown down by John and a new word for us to drop into our botanical conversations - "What is that xylophyte over there?" "Not sure, my xylophyte ID skills are very poor - I'll certainly be buying John Poland's book when it comes out..."  

John has produced a flyer about his xylophyte ID book - you can download it here to find out more. If you'd like to go on John's mailing list and receive an alert once he's ready to publish, you can email him at twigkey@hantsecology.co.uk 

The line drawings are being done by Robin Walls, County Recorder for Dorset - there's an example of Robin's work above.

While we're waiting for the book to come out, John has provided a few illustrations of xylophytes - why not have a go at identifying them?

There's no prize for guessing them correctly, just a smug feeling and the chance to astonish your friends with your knowledge of - here comes that word again - xylophytes! 

I'll post the answers after the weekend. 

Good luck!