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Andrew Byfield

Andrew Byfield is a botanist, environmentalist and gardener currently living in South Devon, England. He is one of the co-founders of the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife, and has had a passion for all things plants since early childhood. He graduated in Botany from the University of Bristol, before taking up a post with the UK’s Nature Conservancy Council.

During a ten-year sojourn in Turkey working for Fauna and Flora International, Andy was instrumental in setting up village-based production of artificially-propagated wild flower bulbs in the Taurus Mountains, and spearheaded the production of the Important Plant Areas of Turkey inventory, the first of its kind anywhere on earth.

Through his extensive travels across Anatolia, he added over 30 species new to the flora of Turkey, including the diminutive snake’s-head fritillary Fritillaria byfieldii. He currently spends his time as a consultant to Plantlife’s conservation programme, writing, tour leading and restoring a large walled garden. He also supervises a number of gardens in Turkey.


  • Where the Wild Things Are

    From Issue 61

    The botanist Andrew Byfield relives the happy days he spent last spring in the crystalline air of Bozdağ, in the Taurus Mountains of southwest Turkey. Flowers thrive there in the harsh climate on bare limestone cliffs and in fractured gullies, and cedar of Lebanon and black pine brave all that nature can throw at them. Photographs by Andrew Byfield

  • The snowdrop treat

    From Issue 11

    A special harvest festival was held in May [1996] in the cedar forests of the Taurus Mountains. Conservtionists, botanists and bulb merchants from all over the world joined villagers in tiny Dumlugöze to celebrate Turkey’s first crop of cultivated snowdrop bulbs – good news for the wild ones. By Andrew Byfield

  • A World Beyond the Walls

    The flora of Istanbul

    From Issue 54

    Istanbul, straddling two continents and sandwiched between two seas, has a thrillingly varied flora which includes many plants seen nowhere else on the planet. Sadly, it is also critically endangered. Text and photographs by Andrew Byfield

  • After the Snows

    A field guide to Anatolia's crocuses

    From Issue 12

    The splash of colour provided in the first warm days of spring, or in late autumn when little else is in flower, makes crocuses universally loved by gardeners. The large gaudy flowers of the Dutch hybrid are derived from a European species, but the exquisite smaller, earlier-flowering ‘botanical’ crocuses have their origins in the exposed hill and mountain slopes of Anatolia. Andrew Byfield gives a field guide to both north and south

  • Greenbelt or Backyard?

    Istanbul: the big issue

    From Issue 21

    These are the last great heathlands of Eastern Europe, one of the world’s rarest natural habitats. Unless they receive a last-minute reprieve, they will be bulldozed out of existence. Andrew Finkel reports on the dilemma facing the planners in Istanbul

  • The Orchid Hunters

    From Issue 25

    They are a dedicated breed, but not all orchid hunters share the same agenda. Some are driven to record in minute detail the glory of Turkey’s orchid species – all 148 of them. Some are more interested in eating them. The botanist Andrew Byfield joins the quest.

  • Skulduggery among the cedars

    From Issue 16

    The story of one of Turkey’s rarest bulbs could be taken from the pages of a thriller. Andrew Byfield exposes the bulb smugglers’ dastardly deeds.

  • The Primrose Path

    From Issue 15

    In the garden we may take them for granted, but in the wild, their colours make the heart sing. Andrew Byfield celebrates the vibrant beauty of Turkey’s primulas

  • Battle for the Bogs

    From Issue 14

    Anatolia’s new peat gatherers follow a rugged, self-sufficient way of life. But they are taking a toll on the rare flowers of the Turkish moors. Andrew Byfield confronts a burning issue

  • Flowers that Made Men Mad

    From Issue 13

    The truly intoxicating rhododendrons of northeast Turkey. By Andrew Byfield

  • A Day on Black Rock Pasture

    From Issue 42

    By whatever name it is known – whether Karataş Yayla (Black Rock Pasture) or Çağrankaya (Singing Rock) – this spur of the Kaçkars is full of drama. Andrew Byfield battled rain and fog to reach its riches

Buy the latest issue
Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
£ 15.00

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