Plantlife’s 12 pickable flowers

Plantlife, the charity which speaks up for the nation’s plants, says that it’s OK to pick these 12 common flowers (provided you don’t go beserk in the woods and fields of the UK).

Can you match the names to the pictures? If not, you’d better do some research before you pick anything!

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  1. Keith Dancey says:

    Do you know your Dandelion from your Cats Ear from your Hawkweed?

    Or your Greater Stitchwort from your Lesser Stitchwort?

    Or your Dog Violet from your Sweet Violet?

    Or your Meadow Buttercup from your Creeping Buttercup from your Badgeworth Buttercup?

    Or your Cow Parsley from your Hemlock?

    Clear room for the defence of mistaken identity, I think.

  2. Jillian Macready says:

    I think that's dangerous to say people can pick flowers because some people, believe it or not, won't be able to tell the difference between these common flowers and uncommon ones. I once had a gardener who admitted that he didn't know the difference between a dandelion and a daffodil; needless to say he didn't last long after that!

    On the other hand, it's the best thing to get children inspired. I was inspired that way.

  3. Filbert Cobb says:

    Many of those flars in the pix are now beyond my reach

  4. Jonathan Wallace says:

    I think it is exceedingly unlikely that this will result in people causing damage to populations of any endangered species especially if people follow the code of practice that PL have established. On the other hand encouraging to get hands on with wildlife can encourage people to become more
    Interested in nature and to care for it more. Of course we don't want a return to Victorian attitudes where appreciation of nature meant owning it and displaying it in glass cases but I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way towards a 'look but don't touch' officiousness that discourages people from developing a love of nature. Many of our great naturalists and conservationists developed their love of nature and a lot of their basic knowledge through collecting and keeping critters and plants.

  5. Callum Macgregor says:

    I suppose that like Jonathan, I'm not too worried about the possibility of damage to endangered plants as a result of this. On the other hand, I'd prefer to leave my knapweed in situ so it can continue to attract lots of thirsty butterflies - much nicer than wilting flowers on the mantelpiece!

  6. Hayden Macey says:

    We have a lovely photograph of our two young daughters picking buttercups and daisies in my parents' garden. Both girls grew up to love and respect nature. When gathering posies of primroses in the wild we never picked more than one flower from any plant and only if the plants were plentiful. Last autumn that photograph brought backwonderful memories before our elder daughter passed away in November.

  7. tim baynes says:

    A thorough useful article and it has inspired me to do watercolours of each of these plant. Dog violet was my first and not up on my blog

    Thank you Mark!

  8. Roy says:

    I made some dandelion champagne once, you only use the petals and you need two pints of just petals, it took about four carrier bags full of flowers and two hours of stripping the petals. My hands were completely yellow by the time I finished. It was quite nice but I won't be making it again, elderflowers are much easier and make a nicer drink.

  9. Pete Stevens says:

    This is madness. Most people now do not know the differences between plants. This policy is unlikely to do any good. I am very disappointed in Plantlife that up to now I have seen them as a fine organisation. I will be withdrawing my support now.


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