5 in Five is a new video showcase of Ireland’s native plants and wild places delivered in 5 minute episodes by Trinity College Botany Department and Trinity College Botanic Garden. The idea was hatched by head of department Professor Jennifer McElwain while out walking within her 5km radius of home during the COVID lockdown. Our aim with this new video flora of Ireland is to present 5 plant species in five minutes in an engaging way that showcases Ireland’s plant diversity in their native habitats, whether a shingle beach, mountain bog or old city wall. Most of us suffer from a condition called ‘plant blindness’. We simply do not see the immense diversity of plant life that is on our doorstep. Instead we are evolutionarily primed to see animals, as they may be a threat to our survival or a high protein meal. Plants, in all their extraordinary diversity, tend to meld into the greenness of the background. 5 in Five will call on the internationally recognised expertise of lecturers, professors and students in Trinity’s Botany Department and Botanic Garden to produce a regular episode of new plants and habitats from across Ireland. Ultimately we would love to cover the entire native flora of Ireland!

Books, phone apps and public talks are all wonderful resources to learn about our flora and fauna however in our experience you cannot beat spending 5 minutes with an expert in the field. We are hoping that ‘5 in Five’ will immerse you in a field experience for five minutes in your busy day.  The short videos will highlight the most common plants in your neighborhood, some of their medicinal and culinary uses, their interactions with pollinators, useful identification tips and stories behind their original discovery and naming – all in 5 minutes!

We encourage you to share these free video resources widely and to contact us to suggest new places, themes and species that you would like to see being featured in the future. If you are interested in partnering with us as a future guest presenter or are interested in sponsoring an episode or the whole series please contact us at zoobot@tcd.ie.