Monday 22 February 2016

Early Star of Bethlehem and Other Early Spring Wildflowers

I've been wanting to see Early Star of Bethlehem or Radnor Lily for years, and this was the year I finally did! It's a very elusive flower because as well as only occurring at one remote site on the Welsh borders, it is also a very shy flowerer. It didn't flower last year, well apparently it tried to but the single flower in bud was eaten (by slugs I think). When it does flower it can be anytime between January and March, so it is best to get advice from the warden, which we did. He kindly advised us when the flower was open and told us where to find it. It is usual to have to have a guide on the reserve due to the fragile nature of the site but we were told we could see the plant this year in an easily accessible area where it had been caged for protection. All we needed was a sunny day so that the flower would be open. When we arrived the flower wasn't fully open despite the sunshine and we had to sit and wait for it for a couple of hours. It was worth it though. There were just two flowering plants this year, the other one in a restricted area of the reserve.

Early Star of Bethlehem - Gagea bohemica 

These Snake's Head Irises are naturalised on Portland and looked lovely in the late afternoon sun.

 Snake's Head Iris - Hermodactylus tuberosus

Spring Crocus - Crocus vernus

Early Crocus - Crocus tommasinianus


Spurge Laurel - Daphne laureola

Winter Aconite - Eranthis hyemalis 

Winter Aconite and Snowdrops or if you prefer.... 

Snowdrops and Winter Aconite 

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