The Botanical Section welcomes anyone interested in all kinds of plants. Join us from spring to autumn on our Summer excursions to explore the many beautiful places of Perthshire and discover their fascinating flora. We hold about twelve excursions a year, either in the evenings, during the week or at weekends. Our searches cover a wide range of habitats, from mountain tops to river valleys, looking at plants throughout the seasons and ending with a fungal foray. There is at least one excursion organized for the summer that takes us beyond the boundaries of Perthshire. Members are always on hand to help with plant identification and with the understanding of our flora.

During the winter months the Botanical Section organizes six talks on different aspects of plant life or natural history. The evening meetings are very popular and we finish the evening over a cup of tea or coffee with a chance to chat to the speaker and other members.

The outstanding work of Francis Buchanan White, the founder of the PSNS, resulted in the publication of the Flora of Perthshire in 1898 after his death. The Flora includes records made by other members, including the Birnam Postie, Charles Macintosh, whose botanical interests influenced Beatrix Potter. Latter day members helped to compile The Checklist of the Plants of Perthshire (available to purchase – see our publications page), and we continue our efforts to update our knowledge of the flora of this, very special area. We work closely with other organisations such as Plantlife, the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and the Botanical Society of Scotland.

The section publishes an annual bulletin and copies are available to download on the PSNS Publications page.

For more information about Botanical Section activities contact the section secretary, Liz Lavery at

Today, PSNS members continue to be involved in community activities. For one Doors Open day at Perth Museum and Art Gallery our members produced a series of educational panels on the “Architectural Significance of Plants”


A summary of dates and venues is listed below. Please download our PSNS Botanical excursion programme 2019 for full details of meeting places, times and how to book.

Date Botanising area Reason
Apr 10 Wed Evening Battleby, Redgorton, Perth Tree identification from winter twigs
May 1 Wed Evening Methven Wood Evening stroll to enjoy woodland highlights
14 Tue all day Clackmannan Urban Flora, Joint, BSS/BSBI
29 Wed all day Auchterarder Urban Flora
June 7-9 Fri-Sun all day Dunfermline BSBI Atlas 2020 Recording Various habitats.
25 Tue Evening Moncreiffe Island, Perth Joint with Dundee Naturalists’ & BSS
30 Sun all day Alva Moss, walking from Burnfoot Windfarm Monad bashing for BSBI Atlas 2020 & Upland ID.
July 13 Sat all day Upper Glendevon Reservoir Monad bashing for BSBI Atlas 2020 & Upland ID.
17 Wed all day Glen Ample Atlas 2020: exploration of Burn of Ample
23 Tue evening Brownie Wood, Gauldry Updating plant list
31 Wed Evening Amulree Evening stroll to north side of Loch Freuchie
Aug 4 Sunday all day Loch Beanie Aquatics, moorland and grassland plants
10 Sat all day Loch Ordie Aquatics, moorland plants, + Sorbus rupicola and Eleogiton fluitans en route


All indoor meetings are held on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Sandeman Room, AK Bell Library, York Place, Perth PH2 8EP. Evenings conclude over tea and coffee.

October 24: ‘The Rise and Fall and Rise of Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve’ – Dave Pickett, Reserves Manager, Scottish Natural Heritage. Read Dave’s Blog

November 21: ‘The World of Bryophytes: Opportunists or Conquerors?’ –
Dr. Theo Loizou. An invitation to discover the world of mosses and liverworts. Visit Theo’s Website

December 12: Orchids of SW France’ – Martin Robinson.  Martin is the BSBI Vice-County Recorder for East Perthshire. Martin’s many interests include wild orchids and a Saxifrage.

January 23: ‘Threats and opportunities from changing species distributions: should we accept the beech as a native tree in Scotland?’ – Professor Alistair Jump. Visit Alistair’s Webpage

February 20: ‘The discovery of new Scottish monkeyflowers provides an example of evolution in action’ – Dr. Mario Vallejo-Marin. Visit Mario’s Webpage

March 20: Botanical Section AGM followed by Members’ Night. Members have the floor for a light-hearted evening to share their own experiences, photographs and stories.

Bulletins of the Section

The Section produces an Annual Bulletin recording activities over the previous year. Bulletins can be downloaded from the PSNS Publications page. A Spreadsheet index to excursion venues described in Section Bulletins can also be downloaded.