Thanks to Juliet for her post on the stripping out of words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary - a horror which had passed me by. The humble primrose, along with allotment, catkin, blackberry, and even Gawd help us, dandelion and conker - two things you'd think would be familiar to even the most urban, have gone, along with many others.
I can't say I'm hugely surprised. I live in a rural-ish village, surrounded by fields, and with large woods a short walk away, and the ignorance our children have about the natural world astounds me. This summer I took our church youth group round the churchyard to see what flowers were growing, and once they'd got past buttercups and daisies they had not the remotest idea what anything was. They were very interested to learn, and amazed that I knew so many names (a childhood devoted to Enid Blyton's Nature Books saw to that, as well as the good old nature table at school).
Schools have to shoulder a fair amount of blame for opting out of teaching children about the natural world. It's tempting to blame parents, but they are, I think, fighting an uphill battle. My own daughter reaches hideous heights of scorn when I say "Oh look, there's a harebell," or whatever. "MUM - NO ONE'S interested in that anymore. The world's different NOW."
And alas, it appears she's right.