First Flowers of Spring

Originally published 25 february 2015.

With winter slowly drawing to an end, many of us are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring. It’s such a wonderful time of year, when everything wakes up after the cold winter months and bursts into life. Walking in late spring is beautiful, when your suddenly reminded of all the wonderful colours nature has to offer. Here in the UK, we have several wildflower species to help us welcome spring, flowering before most other wildflowers, adding a splash of colour to the arrival of spring.

One of the most common early spring flowers is the snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, arriving between January and March. A beautiful elegant flower that can be spotted before it flowers as its two shiny green leaves shoot up and stand out against the bare soil. These leaves are followed shortly by a beautiful white flower, consisting of three long white petals. The snow drop favours damp woodland and shaded meadows, growing in large clumps.

Next to arrive are the primrose, Primula vulgaris, and the sweet violet, Viola odorata, adding a splash of yellow and violet to the woodland floor. These species are both in flower from February till May. Primrose favours woodlands, meadows and grassy verges, whilst Sweet Violet favours hedgerows, plantations and scrub.

Lastly from March to May, the wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa, and the lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria, arrive in the woodlands and announce that spring is definitely here, adding more white and yellow flowers and brilliant green leaves to the mix, before the rest of the flowers begin to join in and spring comes to a very colourful start.

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Rachel Davies

Rachel Davies

Currently studying for an MRes in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Chester. Research focuses on the White-faced Darter, an endangered dragonfly species here in Britain. Rachel also has a blog titled 'working with wildlife'.
Rachel Davies

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