Have you found a plant that you just don’t recognise? We will happily, happily help you. Quickest thing to do is to tweet it with the #wildflowerID hashtag or post it on our Facebook group.
It will be much easier if you take a photo of the leaves as well as the flowers. If you want a really, really good chance of an ID, here’s what to look at when you’re by the plant:
What are its petals like? Can you count how many there are? Or are they bell-shaped? Or irregular, like a pea flower, for instance?
How are the flowers arranged? Are they on their own at the end of a stem? Or in a spike? Or in a collection of flowering stalks that come from one central point – known as an umbel?
How are the leaves arranged? Are they all at the base of the plant in a rosette? Are they in pairs up the stem? Or do they alternate up the stem? Are they in mini leaflets? Or are they arranged around the stem in a circle?
What shape are the leaves? Are they lobed, oval, heart-shaped, feathery, or something else?
Everyone forgets to look under the leaves, but have you checked whether they look the same on the bottom as they do on the top? Are they downy? Smooth?
What’s the stem like? Some plants have really distinctive stems with ridges on them, or square-shaped, or spiky or winged. Check whether these characteristics change at any point, such as below the flower head.
Is there anything else you notice about the plant? Is it hairy, spiny, succulent, smelly or a climber?
Where is the plant? By the sea? In the shade? In a woodland? Wasteland? Where is it geographically?
All these questions will help you get as close as you can to working out what you’ve found.