Botanical problems for the amateur naturalist

N.W. Simmonds


I am going to spend much of this talk discussing flowering times in plants and I hope to he able to show how the amateur naturalist can assemble really valuable information on this topic. The amateur contribution to botany can best be made in fields in which specialized equipment and knowledge are not necessary - indeed, may sometimes be a positive hindrance! For this reason I would exclude most experimental studies (except perhaps, simple garden cultivation) and I would also exclude straightforward taxonomy as being unsuitable for the amateur effort. I can think of no approach more suitable for the amateur than what we may call the natural history approach, and, within these limits, no sudies are potentially more productive than those of phenology and general field biology along the lines indicated.

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