Spring flowers in Glenan

Spring is one of the best time to see wild flowers in Glenan Wood. Many of them flower early in the season – before the leaf canopy shades out the sunlight. They can also be seen more easily before the bracken grows up. There are over 160 flowering plants listed in the National Biodiversity records for Glenan Wood. Not all are in flower in March, April and May though, but you should be able to find (and photograph not pick) a good selection.

Wood anemones, bluebells, wood sorrel, celandines and dog violets are a few of the more obvious ones. And, of course Primroses,

A closer look at Primroses (Sòbhrag in Gaelic)

Primroses (Prunella vulgaris) are one of the early flowers and are woodland specialists. It was Benjamin Disraeli’s favourite flower and Primrose Day on April 19th marks the anniversary of his death. They are also said to represent eternal love, and youth and new beginnings. Although all parts of the primrose are said to be edible they can taste bitter, and can cause stomach upsets. The roots act as a diuretic and have been used in various medicinal ways. They provide a very valuable early nectar source for insects, bees and the first butterflies.

If you look closely at the flowers you may see two slightly different kinds; some flowers are ‘pin’, and some are ‘thrum’. Pin flowers have the stigma (female part) above the petals, and the anthers (which produce pollen) hidden below. Thrum flowers have the anthers above the petals and the stigma hidden below.

Pin flowers can only pollinate thrum flowers, and vice versa. This means that self pollination cannot occur.

If you walk through the woods in the next 3 months please send us your photographs of any flora for our records. No matter if you can’t identify it – we will do that for you.