February – what’s out and about

During this month most buds remain tightly shut. Hazel Corylus avellana male catkins are beginning to open, if you look closely tiny red flowers can also be seen. It has often been planted for coppicing and has many uses due to its flexible nature which can be twisted and knotted.




This is also the case with Alder Alnus glutinosa. Its flower is pictured below. Alder is a tree of wet places, marshes and stream-sides. It is found throughout Europe as far as Siberia.







The Snowdrop Galanthus nivalis signals that winter is coming to an end. It is a very hardy plant and its drooping flowers can be seen into March if cold conditions continue. It is a perennial, herbaceous plant and grows from a bulb. It is considered a native to the British Isles although it is believed to have been introduced in the 16th Century.




European gorse Ulex europaenis is also flowering and adds a great splash of yellow to moorland, dune and grassland. The flowers are pollinated by the bumble bee and its scent has a familiar coconut smell. It is a member of the pea family and so produces its fruit as a pod, the seeds of which are poisonous.

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