West Highland Flora
About this site
Aims of site
To help people to identify wild plants found growing in the West Highlands of Scotland
To perhaps be of occasional use to anyone trying to identify a plant found elsewhere
To give a sense of purpose to my enthusiasm for plant photography
To show what a wonderful heritage of plant life we have in the West Highlands
To help anyone who finds a plant they think unusual in the area to know if it's worth reporting
To encourage people in the area to record plants, whether common or rare
To encourage others to do similar projects for the plants and other wildlife of their own areas
Website by Carl Farmer. Email
The species pages
Each species (or other appropriate taxon) on the site has its own page with photos and text. The text includes a paragraph that begins "ID:" In theory, if you find a plant that looks like the one in the pictures, and that meets all the conditions given in the ID paragraph, then you have your (provisional) identification.
As an example, the page for Slender St John's Wort has:
ID: Stems round, not square or with raised lines, not hairy, creeping or very thin.
This assumes that your plant does look very much like the one in the picture, which will imply (in this case) that your plant is a St John's Wort . There are numerous other plants (not St John's Worts) that meet the conditions of "Stems round, not square or with raised lines, not hairy, creeping or very thin" but none of these (if in flower) are likely to be confused with the one in the picture.
Extra features to help identification
After the ID paragraph I give some further features which may help to confirm the identification. E.g, in the case of Slender St John's Wort they are:
Other features: Leaves almost clasping stem and with edges slightly downturned. Petals have reddish markings and black gland-dots.
It goes without saying that identifications made from this site cannot be relied on without corroboration, and should only be made for purposes of personal enjoyment. Anyone intending to base any decision on plant identification, for instance someone looking to use plants for edible or medicinal purposes or as indicators of land quality or any other purpose whatever, should not use this site for identification. There are certain to be mistakes on this site. If you find any, please let me know.
Any plant records can be reported to the appropriate BSBI recorder.
For vice-county 104, which includes Skye, the recorder is Dr Stephen Bungard. His email address for records is
I am recorder for vice-county 98, which roughly comprises Argyll plus the part of Highland Region south of Loch/River Leven, minus Kintyre south of the Crinan Canal and minus outer islands such as Mull, Islay and Jura, but including the islands of Kerrera, Seil, Luing and Lismore. My email is
The vice-counties and their complex boundaries are shown on the Herbaria United site. The BSBI site has the complete list of vice-county recorders.
Skye Ferns - Checklist and
distribution maps for ferns of Skye
Isle of Skye Data Atlas - Info on wildlife and other aspects of Skye
Skye Birds - A resource for historic and current bird info on Skye
Portree self-catering, Skye - Close to village centre with great views over the bay where Sea Eagles fly
Inverness Botany Group - Indoor winter meetings and outdoor field trips in summer all over the Highlands
Donegal hedgerow - Incredible variety of species in a small area, all photographed and documented. Now on its third year and covering a wider area.
Wild Flowers of Ryedale, Yorkshire - Many plant pictures, interactive distribution map, reports of field trips and much more
Wild Flowers in the Plymouth Area - Individual species pictures from Devon and Cornwall
Irish Wildflowers - A photographic reference and identification guide for wildflowers growing in Ireland
Wild plants of the British Isles - A photographic record of a field botanist's annual hunt for British Wild Plants. Lots of rare species. Includes pictures from Skye!
Flora of Zimbabwe - Complete species list, with photos and other data constantly being added
Wild Flowers of North America - Great photos of beautiful plants
Fleurs sauvages de Oudon - Wild flower pictures from a small village in Loire-Atlantique, France
Wildflower photographs from central Europe in German, excellent photos.
Adur Valley Wildlife - Superb site, every area of the country should have one like this
Scottish Movie Postcards - Interactive CD-rom's with music tracks, video travelogue, accommodation database and introduction to Gaelic culture.
Botanical Society of the British Isles - For everyone who is interested in the flora of Britain and Ireland
Ecological Flora of the British Isles - Database of British flora by ecological characteristics.
British Trees and Shrubs - Identification guide and distribution maps.
John Muir Trust - Manages various areas on Skye according to principles of pioneering conservationist John Muir. Volunteering opportunities.
Skye and Lochalsh Access Panel - Guide to disabled facilities in the area.
Trees in Bags - Skye grown semi-mature container trees
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