At the end of March we spent a couple of days in Norfolk and Suffolk, mainly looking for early Breckland specialties.
Wild Grape Hyacinth.
These are smaller and darker than the garden variety and are surprisingly easy to miss in the long grass. As they are such a dark colour they do look a bit more like grapes than the bright blue garden form. It was foggy and wet when I took the first picture below but we returned to see them again a bit later when the sun came out (second photo). I think they look just as good in both!
Grape Hyacinth - Muscari neglectum
I thought this branch looked like a weasel. It does, doesn't it? Or is it just me?!
Oregon Grape - Mahonia aquifolium
Naturalised and doing rather too well in the Brecks.
Cypress Spurge - Euphorbia cyparissias
White Comfrey - Symphytum orientale
Breckland Speedwell - Veronica praecox
Fingered Speedwell - Veronica triphyllos
Yellow Star of Bethlehem - Gagea lutea
Early in April we spent the day in the Cotswolds and visited North Meadow in Cricklade, Wiltshire on the way there to see the spectacular display of fritillaries.
We visited Barnsley Warren to see the Pasqueflowers at there best as we were a bit early last year.
Pasque Flower - Pulsatilla vulgaris
Cotswold Pennycress - Thlaspi perfoliatum
We re-visited the site where we saw this plant last year, hoping that the better weather this spring would mean there would be more plants and they may be bigger too. They weren't, we only found five tiny plants in the same spot as last year.
Snake's Head Fritillary - Fritillaria meleagris
Last week we spent a couple of days in Cornwall mostly on The Lizard where we caught up with of few of its early spring specialties.
Purple Ramping-fumitory - Fumaria purpurea
This one not on the Lizard but worth making a detour for on the way.
Flattened on the kerbs and verges around the village green car park and looking a bit worse for wear were many plants of the rare casual Pink Shepherd's Purse.
Pink Shepherd's Purse - Capsella rubella
Common Scurvygrass - Cochlearia officinalis
The very aptly named Hairy Greenweed.
Even the flowers are hairy!
Hairy Greenweed - Genista pilosa
Spring Sandwort - Minuartia verna
The Spring Squill can only be described as rampant!
Spring Squill - Scilla verna
We thought we might have trouble finding Western Clover but it was quite easy to see in certain spots
Western Clover - Trifolium occidentale
Western Clover and Spring Squill
Three-lobed Water-crowfoot - Ranunculus tripartitus
Garston Wood, Dorset
A beautiful almost white Bluebell suffused with pale blue.
A clump of extraordinarily deep pink Wood Anemones.
Goldilocks Buttercup - Ranunculus auricomus
Solomon's Seal - Polygonatum multiflorum
Blashford Lakes Hampshire
We popped in here on the way home from Noar Hill on Sunday especially to look for this diminutive plant. We'd seen it before on the Somerset coast but not in flower. There were hundreds of plants at this location and many were in flower. Getting a photo wasn't at all easy!
Sea Stork's-bill - Erodium maritimum
Finally, somewhere in North Dorset, a stunning little orchid which was discovered last year. It is believed to most probably be a hybrid of Fly Orchid and Woodcock Orchid. Though how it came to be in Dorset is a mystery as Woodcock Orchid doesn't occur in the UK. Looks quite like the Bee x Fly Orchid but is much smaller with flowers a similar size to Fly Orchid.
Putative Ophrys x nelsonii (O.scolpax x O.insectifera)