Flora to see on The Lizard in early spring

Cold days on The Lizard don’t feel like they should yield much in the way of flowers, but you may be surprised. Here are a few plants to look out for. 

Well, Snowdrops surely have to top the list. Appearing from January, they are possibly one of the most iconic flowers of late winter, and are instantly recognisable with their delicate, nodding, snow-white heads.

Habitat: Deciduous woodlands, parks
Photo: © Natural England/Philip Ray

The Lizard is one of the few places in the UK where you can find Three-lobed Crowfoot, an annual that opens its small leaves in winter in the ponds and flooded trackways, followed by its tiny star-like flowers in early spring.

Habitat: Ponds and flooded trackways

The Winter Heliotrope isn’t native to Britain and can be invasive. In its defence, bees and other invertebrates find its lilac flowers a valuable source of nectar at the beginning of the year. 

Habitat: Wasteland, railway banks, roadsides
Photo: Phil Sellens, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The blue flowers of Wild Teasel appear in July and August, but it doesn’t lose its stately beauty after the flowers fade. The dried flowerheads on their tall stems are an architectural statement by streams and in damp grass and heathlands throughout the autumn and winter. Goldfinches love the seeds, as well.

Habitat: Damp grasslands
Photo: © Natural England/Peter Wakely

It’s a hard one to spot, but Land Quillwort is a Lizard specialty: in mainland Britain, it only grows on The Lizard. Its rosette of thin leaves, which might be mistaken for Squill or Thrift, appear in January and February.

Habitat: Heathland, over rocky ground, mainly coastal

The lovely butter-coloured Lesser Celandine blooms from as early as mid-February. It was the poet William Wordsworth’s favourite flower.

Habitat: Woodland, meadows, hedges
Photo: © Natural England/Peter Roworth

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