Day 176 – Wildflowers

I think one of the big advantages for me over the past few months, and I acknowledge my privilege in being able to say this, is the increased connection to nature in my neighbourhood. I’m fortunate to live very near to a forest, and it’s been a real pleasure in noticing the change of seasons, from flowing cherry blossom at the entrance to the ever-growing luscious green canopy inside. Although before the Coronavirus I visited the forest often, it’s something I’ve not really noticed before: the forced slowdown of life has made me far more aware of my environment and I’m often curious about new plants and flowers I see. Today I decided to discover a bit more about these wildflowers I pass daily.

I found some apps that are made just for this: they scan a picture, analyse and identify it. I am rubbish with flowers and plants and can just about identify my daisies from my poppies, so these were perfect for me! I used PictureThis until I seemed to run out of free pictures, so then switched to PlantNet which I found a lot easier to use, and didn’t seem to have a limit.

My first discovery was the bristly hawksbeard, a little yellow plant from the daisy family. I see these all over, and I thought they were a weed until I tested my app on it. It turns out, the bristly hawksbeard is edible! I’m not sure I’d like to give it a try, but maybe it’s one to put on the list for another day.

Next up was garlic mustard, another plant I see all over. I was a little surprised to read that this small white flower is also edible – I had no idea you could eat these common plants. I think I would be a little apprehensive eating any wild plants without someone I trust explicitly telling me it’s ok.

My final plant is one I walk past almost every day and notice. The white delicate flowers look so interesting and unusual that it always catches my attention. I couldn’t see why it was called old man’s beard, but the name definitely made me smile.

I wasn’t really interested in learning much more about the plants other than their name, but I was really surprised to find some edible ones. I was under the impression that you’d have to forage quite carefully to find edible plants, so that was a nice surprise. I’ll definitely use this app again, I like being able to identify the different flowers and learning a bit more about nature in my neighbourhood.

1 thought on “Day 176 – Wildflowers”

  1. Hi Hannah, I would definitely encourage you to be cautious of eating plants you find in the wild. I know of an experienced botanist who mistook a deadly hemlock for a Queen Anne’s lace~a very easy mistake to make, and he died. You may find yourself drawn more deeply into the lives of the plants, their interactions with their habitat and each other. It is very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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