More wildflowers to find


Passing our wildflower bank below Crow Wood the other evening I was pleased to see that there was a good scattering of Cowslips in the area below the path. These have developed from the seed mix sown there in 2014 and first appeared in flower in 2018, it looks as though they are becoming a permanent part of our wildflower mix on that bank. The photos below were taken last year and it is clear that this year's flowering is much further on.

There are others elsewhere in Dalgety Bay on the bank on the Eastern Approach Road which, thanks to changes in the Council grass cutting schedules, are also now a permanent feature.

On the other side of the path, close to the last set of steps are the white flowers of Garlic Mustard. While not one of the more attractive wildflowers it is one of the caterpillar foodplants favoured by Orangetip butterflies.

Another, and more colourful flower, that is a feature of a walk in Hopeward Wood is Honesty. This too is a plant used by the caterpillars of Orangetip butterflies. It is not a true "wildflower" having been introduced as a garden flower from SE Europe many years ago but now has a wide distribution in the wild.

There are two flower colour that you will see and later in the year the papery transparent seed heads which give it its common name and are often used in flower arrangements will appear. The photo of the pink one shows some already forming.

Also in flower at the moment is Dog Violet. Attaching the epithet “dog” to a plant name implies it is not useful, in this case to distinguish it from Sweet Violet. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful addition to our wild plants, though perhaps more frequently seen, as this one, in gardens than our woodlands.

It thrives better among low growing plants and can be very attractive among Primroses on banks where sheep grazing is not too severe. It is the food plant of several of the UK's scarcer butterflies, but not ones that we find here.

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