Start of main content.

Spring flower spotting

By Oast House Archive, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10472805
By Oast House Archive, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10472805

Flowers are beautiful, but there’s so much more to them than just looking pretty! They are an essential source of food for many insects and animals, whether directly through the pollen they contain or indirectly in the fruit they produce once the plant has finished flowering. And many of them also need our help.

Unlike animals, plants can’t easily move when their habitat becomes threatened. They are at the mercy of animals or insects to disperse their seeds to new locations. With more and more wild land being taken over by buildings, farming, roads, etc, our wild spaces, home to our wild flowers, are under threat. It’s important that we save these spaces.

This is one of the reasons national parks and wild spaces are important. These areas don’t need to be big – little patches of wildflower meadow in a local park, or an un-mown grassy verge or hedgerow all help.

And one of the big benefits of these areas is that they are stunning places to visit. So head out into woodlands, stroll out onto the chalk downloads, wander into the fields and enjoy some wildflower spotting!

If you fancy finding out more about how you can help, then the Plantlife charity is the place to visit. They’ve got ideas for activities, places to visit, and ways to get involved.

Where to look for spring flowers

  • Woodlands
  • Local parks
  • Countryside hedgerows
  • National parks with wildflower meadows
  • Botanical gardens like Kew Gardens

Bluebells

Image copyright MichaelMaggs via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_non-scripta#/media/File:Hyacinthoides_non-scripta_(Common_Bluebell).jpg
Image copyright MichaelMaggs via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyacinthoides_non-scripta#/media/File:Hyacinthoides_non-scripta_(Common_Bluebell).jpg

These beautiful blue flowers love cool woodlands, and are just coming out around now – April to early May time. They completely carpet the woodland floor, and their gentle perfume is wafts around in the gentle spring breezes.

If you fancy combining a walk and citizen science project, check out the bluebell survey from our Citizen Science blog post.

Daffodils

Image copyright Andrew Wilkinson, Creative Commons via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew_j_w/4507734419/in/photolist-7SkjoX-61iPVa-7TdBEa-699gEa-eb3bke-dWQpp1-9q8xaY-ctxUdw-9q8yrL-Ek17m-9kuPAs-4NQ9VT-ct7buY-dZFboW-8wfa2Q-8wfaoY-bCBSWn-7QJksA-37o4WS-EjYKM-4wn8Rv-byWbeM-6cYAQB-7QJkpL-67AMzQ-7PR8zX-6brdC8-bopB1q-hBBCYs-ao89zr-7PUsb5-e12j8w-buf577-bpGWcu-ao8aTx-7Sjtu6-9THFwU-7MqTkH-ecZmrK-9yMAXC-xyNZK-6bAnho-4B8fkf-6bLbUa-6b1uVq-cMfTD1-4BJV77-9CuGV5-4GB6NC-25FXn
Image copyright Andrew Wilkinson, Creative Commons via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew_j_w/4507734419/in/photolist-7SkjoX-61iPVa-7TdBEa-699gEa-eb3bke-dWQpp1-9q8xaY-ctxUdw-9q8yrL-Ek17m-9kuPAs-4NQ9VT-ct7buY-dZFboW-8wfa2Q-8wfaoY-bCBSWn-7QJksA-37o4WS-EjYKM-4wn8Rv-byWbeM-6cYAQB-7QJkpL-67AMzQ-7PR8zX-6brdC8-bopB1q-hBBCYs-ao89zr-7PUsb5-e12j8w-buf577-bpGWcu-ao8aTx-7Sjtu6-9THFwU-7MqTkH-ecZmrK-9yMAXC-xyNZK-6bAnho-4B8fkf-6bLbUa-6b1uVq-cMfTD1-4BJV77-9CuGV5-4GB6NC-25FXn

These happy yellow flowers are one of the most identifiable signs of spring. The central yellow trumpet is surrounded by a halo of pedals, and long green spear-like leaves. They thrive in hedgerows, verges and fields. They are part of the Narcissus genus.

Snowdrops (Galanthus)

Image via Wikipedia, Creative Commons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus#/media/File:Galanthus_nivalis.jpg
Image via Wikipedia, Creative Commons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus#/media/File:Galanthus_nivalis.jpg

Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to appear in the spring, sometimes even popping up when the snow is still on the ground. Tiny white bell-like flowers grown in little clusters, often around the base of trees.

Crocus (Crocus vernus is one of the most common spring varieties)

Image copyright Bernd Haynold  via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocus#/media/File:Crocus_vernus_1.jpg
Image copyright Bernd Haynold via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocus#/media/File:Crocus_vernus_1.jpg

Bright purples and yellows, these little flowers have an upright trumpet-like flower with long petals. These flowers are members of the Iris family, and some species are cultivated to produce the spice Saffron.

Wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Image copyright Lilly M via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemone_nemorosa#/media/File:Anemone_nemorosa_001.JPG
Image copyright Lilly M via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemone_nemorosa#/media/File:Anemone_nemorosa_001.JPG

White star-like flowers, wood anemones grow, as the name suggests, in woodlands. They are also sometimes called windflower and thimbleweed.

 

To pick or not to pick? 

Although it can be tempting, we suggest you leave wildflowers to bloom in the wild so they can remain part of the ecosystem. Enjoy them in their natural habitat!

Share by email or online: