The Garden Wildflower Hunt has now ended - huge thanks to everyone who took part - watch this video in which BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker summarises what we learned from the Hunt.

The Garden Wildflower Hunt is a new initiative by BSBI, launched in spring 2020.

BSBI has always focused on the appreciation, understanding and conservation of the wild and naturalised plants that grow throughout Britain and Ireland. We usually ask you to share your records of plants found outside the garden gate, but now we're asking you to tell us about the wildflowers ("weeds"?) in your garden, on your balcony, in that planter by your front door...

Garden Wildflower Hunt

As with all BSBI projects and activities, there will be lots of plant identification help and useful tips available for you.

Garden Wildflower Hunt has two main aims:

  • To help us find out which wildflowers are growing in gardens across Britain and Ireland so we can understand more about their distribution and ecology.
  • To help you improve your plant ID skills and get more enjoyment out of your garden while you're at home under the Covid-19 restrictions.

Find out more about why we've set up Garden Wildflower Hunt and what we're hoping to find out.

How does Garden Wildflower Hunt work?

We'll be asking you to:

  • Note any features or habitats e.g. lawn, hedge, stone wall, pots or troughs
  • Record any wildflowers in those habitats.
  • Use our recording app to send us your plant records, either via your smartphone or on your computer. The app (a kind of online recording form) is not yet available from app stores - it can only be accessed from the Garden Wildflower Hunt website.
  • For your safety and the safety of others please record only within your own garden, avoiding public areas and observing strictly the government's guidance limiting social contact.

Then you can check the records submitted by you and all the other Garden Wildflower Hunters on this interactive map.

What will happen to my plant records?

All your plant records will appear on this map where everyone can see them mapped at 1km definition. They will also go into a special Garden Wildflower Hunt area on the BSBI Distribution Database, one of the world's largest biological recording databases and the data will be analysed by Dr Kevin Walker, BSBI Head of Science.

We'll be producing regular updates, based on your data, about the wildflowers in our gardens. These will be similar to the New Year Plant Hunt blogposts and reports we produce each year based on your records of which wild plants are flowering in mid-winter. The updates will be made available via this page so everyone can read them.

We respect your privacy

The exact location of your garden will NOT be made public: your plant records will be logged within a 1km x 1km grid square.

You can choose whether or not to attach your name to the plant records you submit. They will be stored in the BSBI Distribution Database, access to which is granted to academics and researchers on a case by case basis. But you can choose to use a pseudonym if you prefer or you can opt out altogether and submit your records anonymously.

Tools & Links to help you

Our new 'Definitions' page guides you through terms such as wild, native and alien and how these apply to the Garden Wildflower Hunt.

Our plant identification pages: plant ID: getting started; ID for the more experienced botanist; Plant Crib; videos.

Our 'Getting Started' page has some helpful hints.

Type the plant name into the Online Flora of the British Isles to find out if your plant is native or alien.

Type the plant name in to our maps page to generate a distribution map; zoom in and find out if the plant has ever been spotted in your area before.

On social media, you can find BSBI on Twitter, on Facebook and on Instagram and ask us for information about wild plants.

You can also contact the @wildflower_hour team, ask for #wildflowerID help or go straight to the #gardenwildflowerhunt hashtag

And you can email us: [email protected]

Frequently asked questions

Who is behind Garden Wildflower Hunt?

The Garden Wildflower Hunt is a BSBI project. The staff members supporting the Garden Wildflower Hunt are Tom Humphrey, BSBI Database Officer; Kevin Walker, BSBI Head of Science; and Louise Marsh, BSBI Communications Officer. You can contact us at [email protected]

If the Garden Wildflower Hunt proves popular (and we think it will!), we will be recruiting volunteer help from among our members and supporters. Let us know if you'd like to join the Garden Wildflower Hunt Support Team.