Wake up and smell the flow­ers

Canal Boat - - News -

DAN­DE­LIONS, CLOVER AND BRAMBLE... fa­mil­iar sights on our way­sides, in our wood­lands and along our canals, we al­most take them for granted, but these wild­flow­ers and their tra­di­tional as­so­ci­a­tions are in danger of dis­ap­pear­ing from our daily lives.

Re­cently, the Ox­fordJu­niorDic­tionary left out over 20 names of com­mon wild­flow­ers and plants from its lat­est edi­tion, be­cause “it is sim­ply a re­flec­tion that for many chil­dren today, dan­de­lions, clovers and bramble are not rel­e­vant. Words like broad­band and cut-and-paste are.”

Other words left out of the OJD in­clude blue­bell, but­ter­cup, acorn, catkin and conker.

So should we just ac­cept that, for many chil­dren, childhood in the 21st Cen­tury is dif­fer­ent? Plantlife doesn’t think so and has teamed up with ce­real com­pany Na­ture’s Path to ask fam­i­lies all over the UK to look out for 15 wild­flow­ers this sum­mer and record their find­ings. Plantlife’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Marian Spain said: “We hope that by tak­ing part in the beesce­nesur­vey, peo­ple will re­dis­cover and cher­ish for­got­ten wild­flow­ers grow­ing on their own doorsteps – such as dan­de­lion and rose­bay wil­lowherb (both pic­tured), clover and knap­weed.

“Will any­one dis­cover that rose­bay wil­lowherb grew up from the craters left by bombs in Lon­don dur­ing the Blitz and was known as bomb-weed, or learn how to tell the time us­ing a dan­de­lion clock?”

Visit wild­about­plants.org. uk/beescene for an easy to use guide on which plants to look out for, and for the in­ter­ac­tive map on which find­ings will be logged.

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