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Mar22 Stellaria holostea, lordshill_edited.jpg

Wildflower diary

February - March 2022

Feb22 Crocus tommassinianus,  Hullmead_edited.jpg

Spring has finally sprung, and the early crocuses we planted last year have been absolutely glorious in the February sunshine. The flowers open wide when the sun comes out and are alive with bumblebees foraging for pollen and nectar.

Feb22 Crocus tommassisianus.jpg
Crocus tommassinianus at Hullmead

Very excited to find this little Cyclamen coum doing very well under the trees. It may be a garden variety  (the wild type normally has pink petals).

Snowdrop, W-TS Green, February 22.JPG
lesser celandine Lords Hill Mar28 2022.jpg
Snowdrops and lesser celandine at Lords Hill

We found lots of other early flowers, like lesser celandine, snowdrops and some beautiful little Iris peeping through the grass.

Dog's mercury, although not a showy plant, is a welcome early sign of spring in our woods, and is still abundant along the Downs Link.

Cyclamen, TS-W Green, February 22.jpg
Feb22 Cyclamen coum, Lordshill.jpg
Cyclamen coum at Lords Hill
Feb22 Mercurialis perennis,downs link.jpg
Dog's mercury on the Downs Link
Iris, Easteds, February 22.jpg
Algerian Iris on Easteds Green
Feb22 Mercurialis perennis,downs link.jpg
Male flower head of dog's mercury
primrose Lords Hill Mar28 202.jpg
Primroses at Lords Hill
Mar22 Stellaria holostea, lordshill.jpg
Greater stitchwort at Lords Hill

The luminous flowers of greater stitchwort have started early this year. They will eventually make a beautiful contrast to our woods full of Bluebells, which are only just starting to flower.

Primroses have been in flower since  January, but are really  fantastic now at the end of March. Like dog's mercury, they are an indicator of ancient woodland. Flowers can range in colour from pale cream to deep yellow, and more rarely white with a yellow eye, or reddish-pink.

By late March we are starting to see forget-me-nots. This one is also the kind commonest in gardens: it was by the Bricklayers' Pond, but they can be found everywhere. There are 10 species of forget-me-not in Britain, usually with flowers in varying shades of sky blue but ranging in diameter from 10mm to less than 3mm, depending on species.

wood forget-me-not, Brickies Pond 28Mar 2022 .jpg
Wood Forget-me-not
dog violet Lords Hill Mar28 2022.jpg
Dog violet at Lords Hill
sweet violet, Easteds 28Mar 2022.jpg
Sweet violet on Easteds Green

We have two species of violet in flower here from January to March. Sweet violets have a delicious scent and are usually slightly earlier than the paler dog violets. Confusingly, sweet violets can also be white. For a handy guide to 4 common violet species click here.

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