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.
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.
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.