Traditionally spring is the season when the beauty of emerging flowers becomes most obvious. Spring flowers aren’t just a boost to the spirits but a classic sign that winter is over. Whether it’s snowdrops, lesser celandine, wood anemone, bluebells or primroses, the impact is the same. Spring has sprung and summer is on the way.
But what happened to spring this year? Those who take note of the first flowering primrose or the first frog spawn have noticed that spring is three weeks, or even a month later this year. Phenology, the science of recording when things appear, is a useful and easy way to compare one year with another, particularly useful when investigating the impacts of a changing climate. If you’d like to take part and become a ‘citizen scientist’, or if you’re simply interested in what appeared when, Nature’s Calendar is a great site to visit.
Hopefully our flowers will catch up soon. Keep your eyes peeled for spring classics including ramsons, yellow star of Bethlehem, cowslips and violets … in fact why not immerse yourself in our spring flowers slideshow.
If you do want to take part in a little ‘citizen science’ by recording some of the spring flowers near you, consider Plantlife’s annual national survey Wildflowers Count.
Flower spotting requires little effort at this time of year and can even be done from a car. If you spot a slightly off-white strip growing at the verge of the road, it could be Danish scurvy grass. This flower usually likes the coast but because our roads are salted in winter, it also grows along our trunk road network. The term scurvy grass refers to it having a lot of vitamin C, useful in days of old when avoiding scurvy!