The BSBI's brief covers the vascular plants and charophytes of Britain and Ireland but the charophytes (stoneworts) are often overlooked - they are small and have a reputation for being difficult to identify.
A presentation at the 2016 BSBI Recorders' Conference by Claudia Ferguson-Smyth, one of two BSBI expert referees for charophytes, went some way towards demystifying this group and then BSBI's Irish botanists grasped the nettle, organising a two 2-day Charophyte Workshops in May 2018. Click on the link to download Claudia Ferguson-Smyth's charophyte presentation given at the Scottish Annual Meeting in 2016.
Charophyte training course
*NEW* Thanks to funding from NPWS, we can offer you a free charophyte training course in September 2020! A great opportunity to enhance your charophyte ID skills and hopefully encourage you to get out recording in your local area.
The webinar will be led by charophyte/ aquatic plant expert Nick Stewart:
- Stonewort Identification. 12 September at 10am. Charophytes, or Stoneworts, are complex aquatic green algae which can be tricky to identify, but Nick guides us through the process. Register here.
- Nick will also be leading an aquatic plants webinar on 5th September. More details on our Aquatic Plant Project webpage.
Charophytes in Ireland
Read about the 2018 Irish charophyte courses and see feedback from some of the participants here.
Charophytes making the news - Cilian Roden, one of our charophyte experts, contributes to this piece on Lough Carra - in The Irish Times.
Issue 1 of the Charophytes newsletter reported progress on an exciting new recording initiative in Ireland.
Charophytes in Wales
View or download the Red List of Welsh Stoneworts 2019.
Resources to help you get started with charophytes
- *NEW* Collection of c5000 charophyte herbarium specimens held at the Natural History Museum, London, has been digitised; the dataset can be accessed here.
- Some info from charophyte expert Nick on how to make or buy a grapnel - an important piece of kit to help you get those charophytes out of the water without getting your feet wet!
- Template for recording Irish charophytes.
- Guidance from Sylvia Reynolds on pressing charophytes.
- Check out this illustrated guide to Polish charophytes.
- Nick Stewart's key to common species of stoneworts.
- There's also a BSBI Charophytes handbook.