clouded yellow butterflythistleDevon Coastlineox-eye daisy - Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland

If you are interested in wildflowers, you might find various uses for this site:

• Use a fast three-step process to identify plants using the flower colour and shape, and leaf edge

• Learn some of the folklore, history and uses of each plant

• Use the discussion forum to organise walks, share your tips on wildflower gardening, and meet people with similar interests

There are other sections with information on various aspects of plant lore and uses, a gallery to which pictures can be uploaded, and a year planner suggesting which plants to seek in which month and habitat.

Other features will be developed to reflect how interest develops. Already requested, and on the drawing board, is a section on identifying trees in both summer and winter.

The WILDFLOWERS of Britain and Ireland

by Charles Coates (Frances Lincoln, 2008)Book Cover - The Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland by Charles Coates

The Sunday Times reviews by Tiffany Daneff, June 29, 2008

Does the world really need another wildflower book? Yes, provided it's sturdy and fits in pocket or rucksack, and provided it's easier to use and more informative than its predecessors. Coates's guide gets ticks on all counts. Not bad given that he read engineering at Cambridge and now advises digital media companies, ie he's no botanist. Actually, this is his strong point. As a keen walker he comes to the subject from the general reader's perspective so the guide is logical - it is colour coded - and botanical details are simplified but not dumbed down. Common names, recognised by so many more people, are given precedence over Latin and the illustrations of 553 species by members of the Society of Botanical Artists are first rate. Not everything is in here - Keble Martin's classic Concise British Flora covered 1,486 species - but it offers a good spread and creates the space to tell us about each plant, its history, uses and folklore. Here's hoping grasses and trees are in the pipeline (Frances Lincoln £14.99 pp385)