Good quality web-sites of British flora

I am happy to recommend the following web-sites, which show a high level of reliability identification-wise. They are my two GO TO sites when I wish to attempt to track down the identity of a British plant I am not familiar with:

APHOTOFLORA  this is arranged by family, in alphabetical order.  If one uses family it makes most sense these days
to use an ALPHABETICAL rather than systematic order, as was traditionally the way.  It would help if synonyms of families
were provided, as even to this day put-of-date family names are used such as:

COMPOSITAE (now ASTERACEAE); CRUCIFERAE (now BRASSICACEAE); LABIATE (now LAMIACEAE); GRAMINAE (now POACEAE)
LEGUMINOSAE (now FABACEAE); GUTTIFERAE (now HYPERICACEAE) - the convention is to have a typical genus for each family, followed
by -aceae.  The old names of familiar families were permitted to continue but this should not have been permitted, as over the decades,
the out-of-date names would have been forgotten and never learnt in the first place by new generations of plant enthusiasts.

The situation is further complicated by genera being transferred to different families compared to when I began a serious interest
in plant identification (in the 1980s). I myself, consider arranging sites by genera as preferable to families, as nowadays, few people know families well. There have been many changes of genera names, so synonyms for these need to be included as well.


Whilst I can recommend this site, I would like to see more images per species, as quite often either diagnostic characteristics are missing or
the few images (much better than only one) present do not illustrate fully the variation of the species concerned, making it hard to distinguish between similar/closely-related species.

One also needs to know that it only covers South-West England, mostly Devon & Cornwall and presumably not every single species recorded for these counties.  If you live or photograph British plants in other counties, especially some distance away, there will be species present on this site which do not grow in the county concerned and others recorded from the county, not present. 

Despite these imperfections - and after, nobody has the perfect site (the excellent Botanical Society of the British Isles is way behind-the-times in terms of digital photography compared with parts of North America and even other parts of the world) - this is one of the very best currently available.

There are also sites covering fauna in this part of the British Isles, so an excellent resource for those interested in natural history.  My compliments to David Fenwick.
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NATURESPOT this also arranged by family, following the traditionally systematic approach of Ranunculaceae first and so on.  I find this annoying and time- consuming, as my recollection of where many of the families (I know most of them) are to be found.  Better if one must use families (I prefer using genera), to adopt the alphabetical approach of APHOTOFLORA (see above).


As with Aphotoflora, there are multiple images, rather than a single photo, as remains the case in too many site (and printed books, for economic reasons) but more than 4-6 are often required for the reasons mentioned above. Sometimes there is only a single image, such as for Cannabis sativa.

One needs to emphasise this site only covers Leicestershire and Rutland (in the Midlands of the UK).


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