We enjoy looking for and learning to identify plants in the wild in Britain. Many of our members are also excellent photographers and field meetings often provide an opportunity to learn about this as well as conservation. We aren't experts on garden plants though. Many garden plants are cultivars with unknown and complex heritage so identifying and naming them is best left to societies devoted to gardening. We do not require our members to record exact site details, such as Ordnance Survey Grid References of their plant discoveries but if you are lucky enough to find something special we recommend you contact your Vice County's recorder for the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (B.S.B.I.) who do record such detail on a national scale.
On first joining the Society, you will be allocated to a Branch on an approximate geographical basis. Each Branch has a Secretary who can help you with the identification of wild flowers. You can also apply to become a member of The Wild Flower Society's Facebook page if you have a Facebook account. If you take a photo of a flower with your smartphone and put it on Facebook, someone will help you to identify the plant. Our Facebook page is here
The Society publishes a variety of articles and other features about wild flowers in the Wild Flower Magazine, which appears four times a year together with a year book listing all the meetings, rules for the photographic competition, email addresses and home addresses of officers and branch secretaries.
Unique to the Society is the Wild Flower Field Botanist's Record book or Diary. It lists the names of 1,000 of the plants most likely to be recognised by amateurs in the British Isles. In it, you can record the place, the date and the habitat of any plant found.
You can send your record book to your Branch Secretary for checking before the end of the year. Records, whether annual or cumulative are published in the magazine with summaries about where you found some of the plants and so on. The book is also available as a free spreadsheet download from our website on this page.
Other competitions include:
There are also annual photographic competitions, for both novices and experienced photographers. These are usually prints from digital or analogue cameras, with a cup awarded to the best entry of each kind.
The Society awards the Dent Prize, which is a sum of money to be spent on botanical books, awarded to the most promising junior member.
The photographic competition entries are exhibited at the Society's "Members' Weekend" which is held in September. There are field meetings to see the local plants on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Saturday afternoon we hold our Annual General Meeting followed by a tea party. The tea party is a long standing tradition dating from 1907 when our founder, Edith Dent held the first gathering in London. The Members' Weekend is held in different places each year and we try to find places, often Field Study Centres, which have accommodation and catering on site. This is an opportunity for members to meet each other, to exchange information about their finds, buy botanical books, take part in quizzes and so on.
Members also meet each other at national, one or two-day, field meetings and at local branch meetings. These are announced in the Magazine, together with notices and reports of field meetings, Branch and competition Secretaries' reports, and in the Members section under Meetings on the Home Page.
Membership traditionally includes all, from the youngest junior, to some very distinguished botanists, past and present, in Britain and abroad.
Updated July 25th 2013, updated 8th March 2014, updated 19th April 2020, updated 1st June 2020, 2nd June 2020, 9th June 2020