Category Archives: Fascinating flowers

Articles that reveal the stories that flowers can tell

TrackaTree Lesser celandines 2017 12 April

Are Wood anemones more sensitive plants than Lesser celandines?

In my last post I showed a chart of my TrackaTree phenology data for Wood anemones for 2014-2017. As the chart below shows, the timing of flowering of the Lesser celandines has varied less over these four years, with only 13 days between the earliest 2014 and the latest, 2016.  Continue reading

Trackatree Wood anemones chart 4 April 2017

The Wood anemones in Hillhouse wood vary markedly in when they flower, according to my TrackaTree data

I my last post I explained how I decided to chart the data I’ve been collecting for the TrackaTree phenology project, so see if it has any interesting stories to tell. I wanted to look at the variation within the same species between the years, and also to see there was any variation in the relative timing of the different species between years.  Continue reading

A record ‘tally’ for the 2016 wild flower walk in Hillhouse wood

Each Spring the Friends of Hillhouse Wood organise two guided walks – one to look at the Bluebells, and a Dawn Chorus one.  These are normally 2-3 weeks apart, to match each one to when its subjects are at their best.  However this year things were different, and for the first time ever we ran both walks on the same weekend. Continue reading

Fascinating factoids about yet more flowers out now (or not, depending on the season)

Lords and ladies

158 Lords and Ladies cropped

The starchy root of Lords and Ladies was once used to produce a home made version of arrowroot.  This was called Portland sago.  As all parts of the plant are poisonous it was not otherwise consumed.

Lords and ladies was recommended by some to treat sore throats and ringworm.  It was used to encourage the afterbirth to detach. Continue reading

An unanticipated downside of Citizen Science – it can make you hate nature (a little bit)

So this is my third year as a volunteer recorder for the most excellent and worthy TrackaTree phenology project, which uses volunteers to collect data to be analysed by scientists.  It seems to operate at just the right level of data collection demand to suit me – rigorous enough to be meaningful without being overbearing in what you have to record and submit.

But everything has a downside somewhere, and these are not always obvious at the start. Continue reading

The world of Hillhouse wood is getting weirder

On Thursday (24 March) I popped down to the wood to see if the numbers of flowers out around my TrackaTree trees had changed at all, now that the nights are getting less cold.  They had not, but elsewhere in the wood the Wood anemones are starting to come out, with smaller numbers of Lesser celandines.  This is what we would expect to see at about this time of year.

04 Lesser celandine cropped    06 Wood anemone

Continue reading

Stories that flowers flowering in March have to tell

Wild daffodil

172 Wild daffodil cropped

True Wild daffodils are only now found in a restricted number of woods, mainly in the west of the country.  It is an indicator of ancient woodland and grassland, often found growing with plants such as Dog’s mercury, wood anemone, Primrose, Cowslip, Lesser celandine, Ivy, and violets. Continue reading

Yet more stories that flowers flowering in February have to tell

Gorse

69 common gorse cropped

Gorse flowers were used to make tea and a fruit wine.  Gorse was used for brushes, fuel and animal feed.  Its high heat made it especially valuable for bread ovens.  Cut Gorse was used for stock fencing – its prickles deterred animals from pushing through it! Continue reading