Thursday, June 17, 2010

Unidentified flower from the last post - now identified

I have had another go at identifying the white flower from my last Post (about my ride on the High Quality Cambridge Guided Busway track). Not really very exciting news I know, but I have identified it - I think. I have used a different website which allows you to select certain features - colour, number of petals on a pane on the left and then it produces a set of choices in text - and you can easily scan through them by selecting them one at a time to produce pictures and further information. The website is: and its user interface although a little garish at first is really quite straightforward to use when you want to check a few options out. The author also has amongst his interests - "programming computers running the RiscOS operating system". One of the later developments of Acorn Computers a "late" Cambridge Company.

The flower is most probably White Bryony (Bryonia dioica) although Wikipedia uses the term White Bryony for Bryonia Alba and for Red Bryony it uses the term Bryonia dioica. The genus name "dioica" indicates the male and female flowers grow on different plants. whereas "Alba" is the Latin for white. White bryony has black berries and Red Bryony has black berries according to Wikipedia.

Another picture I took more clearly shows the climbing tendrils and the fruits look green - so I shall have to check back later to see what colour they end up. The website wildflowerfinder suggests that the Red Bryony is a lesser-well-known alternative name because the berries go red. (It also suggests that Black Bryonys which have black berries are a different species of plant. White Bryony belongs to the Marrow family and Black Bryony to the Yam family.


This UK wild-flower identification is a little trickier than I thought. I must get better at observing and photographing the essential details of the plants as well as then identifying them. I tend to believe the Collins Complete Guide to British Wild Flowers and use Wikipedia for corroboration. In this instance perhaps neither was quite as complete as Wildflowerfinder.

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