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Elizabeth Adlam takes the reader on a journey through time illustrating the fascinating methods by which the wide variety of English wild flowers arrived on these shores. She traces their origins from the earliest known flowering plants of the last Ice Age preserved as pollen in peat deposits to the possible impact on contemporary flora of genetically modified crops.
Successive cultural, social, and historical changes have each had their influence on the number and variety of English plants. Whether as seeds stuck to the sandals of the Roman legionary, or as hay in the mattresses of wounded soldiers brought home from the Napoleonic Wars, many exotic species have taken their place in the English garden, field, and hedgerow, to grow side by side with the true native species.
The book concludes with an informative guide suggesting which plants are of native origin; the deliberate introductions that have escaped over the garden wall or out of the monastic infirmary; the casual arrivals by transport; and those resulting from changing agricultural methods.
Elizabeth Adlam was born in Derbyshire and lived in County Durham before working in Essex, Hertfordshire, and Lincolnshire and finally settling in Worcestershire. Both her degrees are from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth and she spent most of her working life as a teacher of secondary science.
She also has been a trainer of secondary science teachers and worked part-time for the University of Birmingham Department of Continuing Education. She was a member of the Inner Wheel and is an active member of WAWG, Crown Probus and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Married with three grown-up children, she is currently her Parish Tree Warden.