Journal archives for May 2024

04 May, 2024

Primula Vulgaris Description

P. Vulgaris (Common Primrose) is an iconic plant for many as its beauty is often quite captivating. It is often grown in cultivation due to the ease of management.

The associated habitats of the plant are areas which are moist but drained. Riparian zones are usually hotspots and they can also be found in upland areas frequently.

The first signs of Primula Vulgaris are their basal leaves. In fact, the plant only grows basal leaves- no stem leaves. Buds often emerge quickly after the leaves do.

Red to green, dense hairs1,3.

Form basal rosette.
Oblong-obovate, apex rounded. Can vary depending on growth conditions2. Margin crenate, revolute. Veins pinnately netted, cross venulate.
Top surface: lamina minutely pubescent, pubescent on midrib. Bottom surface: pubescent, especially along veins & midrib.

Pentamerous. Calyx green, fused, pubescent. Petals pale yellow and orange near throat3, minutely pubescent4. Petals notched near apex. Fused corolla. Heterostylous.


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Posted on 04 May, 2024 13:50 by account120 account120 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

05 May, 2024

Ficaria Verna Description

F. verna (Lesser Celandine) is commonly seen as a weed. It is a member of the Ranunculaceae family, who's plants often contain poisons. F. verna is no exception.

F. verna is a simple plant to identify with many features being easily recognisable over similar plants. The plant often prefers damp environments, sometimes carpeting woodland forest floors. The plant can also be observed on the banks of streams, gardens and roadsides and often prefers a bit of shade.

The first sign of the plant is the basal leaves. The flower buds emerge quickly after.

Similar plants include: Caltha palustris

Green in colour, red in early growth. Glabrous.

Leaves basal. Petiole hidden beneath dense foliage1. Elliptical to broadly elliptical, rotund in early growth2. Apex obtuse-rounded. Base cordate, notched near base2. Veins palmate netted, cross venulate. Glabrous. Margins slightly crenate.
Variegation close to margin on the blade; blotched. Variegation spots ± equal distance from one another, distance shortens approaching base2. Variegation can be inconspicuous1.

6-10 petals(more examination required), yellow and orange closer to the receptacle. Underside of petals have red streaks during early growth. Many stamen, displaying a yellow colour slightly darker than of the petals. Many carpels, green. 3 sepals; white-pale yellow at base and green nearer apex3.


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Posted on 05 May, 2024 16:13 by account120 account120 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

30 May, 2024

Scilla Verna Description

S. Verna (Spring Squill) is a glabrous, bulbed monocot not often found far from coasts. It rarely creeps inland, aside from areas in Spain.

A very iconic species which begins to flower towards the end of April, the plant enjoys dry coastal grasslands where surrounding vegetation doesn't compete. Hilltops and grazed pastures are a common space for them to be seen.

Singular, erect stem from a bulb. Red in early growth1 and turns into a green.

Basal leaves: Long, lanceolate. Sometimes almost as long as the stalk3. Parallel venation.2
Bracts: One at the base of each pedicel. Lanceolate. Curves up around the flower in early growth1. Turns a paler green than the stem moving up towards the apex2.

Inflorescence: raceme.
Tepals 6, pale blue-lilac. Dark line running through centre of tepal2.
Stamen: 6, white in colour. Anther dark lilac or white, perhaps in early growth.2.
Carpel: 3 fused carpels - trilocular. Style ± same height as stamen. Style and ovary much darker than petals2. 2 ovules per locule4.





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Posted on 30 May, 2024 20:44 by account120 account120 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

31 May, 2024

Some aspects of my descriptions, a botanical term glossary and some extra resources

Some aspects of my descriptions

My journal posts have all used botanical terms, so it would only make sense to have a glossary of botanical terms. Along with that, finding plant descriptions are generally quite difficult and is something that should be more publicly available than as of current. When I do a google search along the lines of "[plant name] description" or "[plant name] morphology", I usually get results which are far from what a dedicated botanist would like, and results more resemble a horticulturalist's dream e.g. gardening pages galore. Sometimes those pages can be of slight help but more often than not they are nothing shy of useless for getting accurate descriptions.

For the above reason, it's why I have started creating descriptions of my own on iNaturalist. Not only for my own gain but for publicly available good quality plant descriptions which a botanist would ideally wide-eyed drool to. The main goal of my descriptions are to create a point of reference for myself and others to refer to when contemplating if the ID they have allocated a plant is correct. It can often be tricky to differentiate two species and hence the descriptions I make will hopefully help out on that. Each description will likely always be a work in progress as new information can always be added.

In terms of the future for my descriptions I will hopefully complete the Shetland list, even if I don't have observations of the plants myself. Please note that not all submissions for the galleries in my descriptions will be added.

Botanical Term Glossary

I have attempt to break down concepts in the glossary as much as possible so that the information contained is available for a wide audience. Learning terms can be a nightmare, especially for beginners. For some terms other sections of the glossary will have to be referred to. The glossary is by no means complete. Terms which are more or less self explanatory are excluded e.g. Hairs, veins.
Most sources for terms come from various sites I find from a quick google search and from the 2nd edition Collin's Wild Flower Guide book. For googling, Sometimes I'll jump straight to images, sometimes I'll choose Wikipedia, and other times I have to locate other sites. I will be adding sites/Wikipedia articles as I go while citing them wherever possible.

If you are using a keyboard, I recommend trying the F3 key on your keyboard to search for specific words in the glossary. You may have to use the "Function" key on your keyboard along with the F3 key for it to work i.e. fn+f3.

Included categories:

  • Misc

  • General

  • Flowers

  • Leaves

  • Stem

  • Fruits

  • Misc terms

    I am defining "misc terms" as ones which are used to describe a feature e.g. symbols

    ±: More or less. May be used when a feature closely resembles what is described.

    General terms

    I am defining "general terms" as ones which cannot be applied to just one part of the plant, or terms which are applied to the whole plant.

    Apex: The tip of a feature e.g. leaf apex (tip of leaf).
    Base: The bottom of a plant or feature. "Basal" can be used to describe features at the base of a plant e.g. Basal leaves.
    Bulb: Dense subterranean leaf structure which stores energy for the plant in following years. Typically found in monocots.
    Creeping: Plants which don't grow high but instead trail across the ground, on top of other vegetation or up obstacles e.g. rocks.
    Erect: Describes upright/vertical growth, not growing horizontally. See: Prostrate
    Fused: Describes parts which were previously individuals and have joined together to become one. Typically used to describe corollas (petals fused together) or calyces (sepals fused together).
    Glabrous: Lacking hairs.
    Inconspicuous: Barely or not noticed.
    Minute: Small. Details which are hard to see with the human eye.
    Notched: An indent- as if a slice was taken out.
    Pubescent: Fine hairs.
    Prostrate: Describes horizontal growth. Often associated with creeping plants. See: Erect
    Variegation: Changes in colouration on parts to provide patterns. Garden and house plants usually have this on the leaves and flowerheads.


    Terms under this section apply to those only found on the flower head.

    Buds: An unopened developing/developed flowerhead.
    Calyx: The collective term for the sepals. See: Sepals, Tepals
    Carpel: The collective term for the female reproductive part of a flower. See: Ovary, locule
    Corolla: Collective term for the petals. See: Tepals
    Heterostylous: Where either the stigma or the anthers are further in front of one another on each specimen e.g. Primula vulgaris. This method of reproduction increases the chances of better cross-pollination.
    Locule: Sections within an ovary. Ovaries can be described as monolocular, dilocular, trilocular, etc.
    Ovary: Part of the female reproductive part of the flower, where the ova (eggs) are located. Can be described as inferior or superior. Superior is where the ovary is generally further out in the open than other parts of the plant, inferior is the opposite.
    Petals: Brightly coloured appendage on the flowerhead which attracts pollinators.
    Raceme: Inflorescence which has alternative pedicels on a main stalk.
    Receptacle: Vegetative parts close to or enclosing the flowerhead.
    Sepals: Leaf-like structures directly beneath the flowerhead. Like a hand holding the rest of the flowerhead. See: Calyx, Bracts, Tepals
    Tepals: Term used to describe parts which can't be described as either petals or sepals e.g. the Tepals on Scilla Verna.
    Throat: Typically used on flowers with an inferior ovary, the inner area of the corolla.


    Terms under this section apply to those only found with association to the leaves of the plant.

    Leaf descriptions can be a bit all over the place and can be awkward to navigate. This section has been split into subcategories, some may have images to create visual demonstrations.

    Blade: The flat surface of the leaf. syns: Lamina
    Bract: Leaves located below the flowerhead on the pedicel or node of the pedicel.
    Lamina: The flat surface of the leaf. syns: Blade
    Margin: The edge of a leaf blade.
    Midrib: Also called "midvein". The central vein(s) of the leaf from which secondary veins emerge from.
    Revolute: Margin rolled under the leaf.
    Rosette: Multiple leaves which spread outward from a central point. Usually basal.
    Teeth: Sharp outgrowths on the margin.

    Leaf Apices

    British Northern Hawkweeds (BSBI Handbook 15) pg. 12 Figure 19, Walter Scott & Tim Rich. BSBI, 2011.

    A. Acuminate, margin curves inwards to create a fine tip. B. Long-Acute, thinning of apex to a fine tip. C. Acute, where angle created within the apex is <90 degrees. D. Obtuse, still retains pointed tip but angle is >90 degrees. E. Rounded, where the apex does not have a pointed tip. F. Mucronulate, apex rounded but ends in a large point. G. Apiculate, ends in a small pointed tip.

    Leaf Margins


    British Northern Hawkweeds (BSBI Handbook 15) pg. 13 Figure 21, Walter Scott & Tim Rich. BSBI, 2011.

    A. Entire, no teeth or waviness- smooth. B. Remotely denticulate, small and distant teeth. C. Denticulate, regular small teeth. D. Dentate, large, regular teeth at ±90 degree angle to margin. E. Serrate, large, regular teeth pointing towards apex.

    Leaf Shape

    British Northern Hawkweeds (BSBI Handbook 15) pg. 12 Figure 18, Walter Scott & Tim Rich. BSBI, 2011.

    A. Narrowly Elliptical. B. Elliptical. C. Broadly Elliptical. D. Rotund. E. Linear. F. Narrowly Oblong. G. Oblong. H. Lanceolate. I. Ovate. J. Obovate. K. Rhomboidal


    Terms under this section apply to those only found with association to the stem of the plant.

    Node: Part of a stem which leaves and branches attach to.
    Pedicel: Stems which a flowerhead sits on.


    Terms under this section apply to those only found with association to the fruits of the plant.

    Nothing yet!

    Extra resources

    As mentioned, finding resources can be quite a challenge. Here are my top recommended resources for the UK:

  • Wild Flower ID Guide: Has lots of flowers listed. Not much on the leaves, however lots of information on everything else! One of my go-to sites for confirming my identifications. Also has a few glossaries listed.

  • Botanical Term Glossary: Has the vast majority of botanical terms listed and described. I've cross referenced some of my descriptions with this glossary.

  • NatureGate: Very modern looking site which is based in Finland. Not all UK plants are listed but a good few are. Intuitive site to use for identifications, very beginner friendly.

  • BSBI's Plant Crib: Has notes, ID guides and descriptions for various genera. Bit of a hit-or-miss as you don't know what level of detail you will get going into each genus. Some genera, especially Taraxacum are well documented. Some will practically tell you to buy their handbooks!

  • Wild Flower Web: Good for getting non-botanical informative descriptions that are able to be understood by general public.

  • Kew Garden's Plants of the World Online: Near to no information on plant descriptions, however lots of information on studies and subspecies. Also may have images for some species.

  • Flora of North America: Good for botanical plant descriptions. Of course since it's based in North America it won't have all taxa from the UK.
  • Afterword

    Very much a work in progress at the moment. Still need to do leaf bases and a few margins, along with a couple extra definitions on top of that. I'm no artist, recreating the drawings in BSBI handbook 15 took quite longer than I had anticipated.

    Posted on 31 May, 2024 17:30 by account120 account120 | 0 comments | Leave a comment