2018 in Wildflowers

As anybody who follows my twitter feed will know, wildflowers are a constant source of inspiration and fascination for me. Here are a few of my favourite finds from 2018

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This tiny forget-me-not is called changing forget-me-not because of the way the petal colour changes as the flowers mature – they start off yellow/cream and brighten to blue in time
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Red campion is a common wildflower in the midlands, especially in shady habitats like hedgerows and woodland edges. It can be a beautifully architectural plant
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Wood sorrel is a woodland wildflower of early spring – this was taken in the Quantock Hills in a pine plantation.
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Wood anemone are a characteristic indicator of ancient woodland – spreading at a rate of only a few metres per year, they are testement to the continuity of the habitat
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Green winged orchids are one of the first to flower in the spring – I am lucky enough to live very close to Muston Meadows which has a stunning display each year
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An ancient woodland in South Wales rewarded me with herb paris this year – the first time I’ve seen this species in perfect flower in the UK
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Pasque flowers are a real rarity these days, but are emblamatic enough to be the designated County Flower of two different counties in England. This one taken at Barnack Hills and Holes NNR
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A sea of English Bluebells with a mighty fallen oak branch to lend character to the sunlit scene
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Oxlip is one of our rarest wildflowers – the ancient woodland of Hayley Wood near Cambridge is one of the best places to enjoy them amongst the bluebells
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There can be few sights more synonymous with springtime that the white of greater stitchwort and the bright blue of the bluebell amongst the fresh green leaves
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The limestone grasslands which punctuated the Peddar’s Way in May rewarded us with these salad burnet – tiny red stars set within a globular flower head
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A trip to see the fly orchids in Bedford Purleius NNR has become something of an annual tradition now – they never fail to delight!
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A new species for me this year and a wonderful treasure hunt to find it – violet helleborine in Bedford Purleuis NNR
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Small but stunning – the arable flora on St Mary’s, Scilly away from the industrial scale agriculture of the mainland meant a host of scarce arable wildflowers persist, such as this small-flowered catchfly
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Yellow bartsia – a relative of yellow rattle and eyebright – was another first for me on the Isles of Scilly
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Pale toadflax established on a railway arch near the Thames
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Black nightshade is a member of the same family as potato and tomato and could be found flowering right up until Christmas!
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Wild snake’s head fritillaries flowering in Portholme Meadow, Huntingdon
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Cowslips flowering along the cycle path which passes along the Grantham Canal in early springtime
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Harebell flowering in the dry grasslands in the meadows above Grantham
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Early purple orchid amongst the bluebells and greater stitchwort flowers in a woodland edge in Lincolnshire

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