More than 100 species of wildflower recorded in April survey

Native bluebells

Native bluebells - Credit: Ed Dolphin

Ed Dolphin writes for the Herald on behalf of the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group.

Volunteers from the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group have recorded more than a hundred different species of wildflower in the valley during April.

Sid Valley Biodiversity Group is carrying out a year-long survey of the valley’s herbaceous plants, recording what is in flower month by month. Volunteers from the group note which flowers they see when out walking around the town and in the countryside. It is not totally random, apart from casual walks, a number of sites around the valley have been selected for regular survey to represent a range of habitats. These include hedgerows, the beach, heath, and open grassland, the sites are spread to cover the valley from north to south and east to west.

Greater stitchwort

Greater stitchwort - Credit: Ed Dolphin


The sheltered climate of our valley ensures many plants come into flower early and there have been plenty of wildflowers to see even in January and February. In April, the volunteers recorded 117 species from Alexanders to yellow archangel.

Germander speedwell

Germander speedwell - Credit: Ed Dolphin


Many people are familiar with the tiny blue flowers of speedwell, but we actually have six different speedwells in flower at present. The prolonged cold weather in April slowed down the opening of the bluebells in the woods on Salcombe Hill but there are plenty around in the roadside hedgerows. Many of these are not the native bluebell but a hybrid with the more robust Spanish bluebells that have been planted in many gardens. The native bluebell is more delicate with the flower spike nodding down on one side.

March was the month for primroses and the glossy yellow stars of lesser celandine. While some of these carried on into April, they are now being replaced by the buttercups (did you know we have three different species) and the hedgerows are spangled with the white stars of greater stitchwort.

Ivy Leaved Toadflax

Ivy Leaved Toadflax - Credit: Ed Dolphin


You don’t have to walk out into the country to see wildflowers. Many of the walls around town are decorated with the delightful blue and yellow flowers of ivy leaved toadflax, a diminutive cousin of the garden snapdragon.

You will find a full report for April and the other months so far if you visit the Biodiversity Group’s new website sidvalleybiodiversitygroup.org.uk

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