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How to Identify Wild Flowers

Identifying wild flowers can be a great way of learning about nature without having to run after animals who, for some reason, don't like standing still long enough. Unfortunately this is one skill that requires a little expert help and so you need to purchase or borrow a Guide to Wild Flowers or Plants for your local area. This can become an intriguing hobby and may even lead to a career in botany.

1. Buy a good guide and read the introductory chapters to learn how to use its "identification key". This key will take a little getting used to and some practise but keys are usually designed to be easy to use.

2. Use the key on several wild plants you already know, until you can use the key practically for any flower or plant you come across in your area.

3. Learn more about your local flora (the wild plants in your area) by joining a local wild flower or naturalist club.

4. Keep a life list, or mark the location and date you found the plant in your guide or in a journal. This can be a very satisfying hobby and if you do become a botanist or National Parks guide, your little hand-kept guide will be extremely useful to refer back to all the time and you will undoubtedly continue to add to it during your career or volunteering.

5. Impress your family and friends with your botanical knowledge. Encourage them to help protect plants in their area.

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