Thursday 21 April 2011

R is for Rare Wild Flowers – that is what R is for ...

Pasque Flower – appropriately flowers at
Easter time; it grows in chalky pastures

Life in general is in need of protection, but our wild flowers none more so – as they are so easily trampled by unsuspecting feet, or plucked by unaware pickers ... we have about the same number of different wild flowers here in Britain, 1,300 ...

...  as there are members in the A – Z Challenge .. not sure what that tells us – but something to ponder?!  Rare wild flowers also become extinct ... much like some of the challengers, who never started or fall away due to other circumstances ... completely understandable.

Drooping Saxifrage – 
to be found only on three 
mountains in the
Scottish Highlands
So often we do not realise what we’re doing – wantonly picking them, digging them up, or destroying habitats through building works, construction of reservoirs, or other types of development.  Do we think about the land beneath our feet that we use in so many ways each and every day ...

Spotting rare plants must be exhilarating, but we need to leave them for others – and ourselves – to enjoy on future occasions.  Each plant may well only exist in a few specific habitats, as we are beginning to realise each tiny organism has its own role to play and so will only support adapted  varieties.

Preferably never pick wildflowers, or disturb the area where they grow, letting the seedlings and mature plants live on.  If there’s an abundance in one area ... then pick cleanly, using scissors or a sharp knife, taking care to leave the roots.   I say don’t pick – leave be.

Spring Gentian – is very rare and
confined to a handful of locations
Use secateurs on woody plants to avoid tearing their bark; while - if picking dead stems for flower arranging – ensure all the seeds have been shed and the stem is really dead.

Our plants are essential to our lives, as are all living things – let us remember to protect those pockets of specialities, those tiny habitats of uniqueness.  There aren’t that many wild flowers here in Britain, but each and every one needs our care.

Here are a few of our Rare wild flowers that need our guardianship ...

These are Rare flowers – that is what R is for ..

Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Talli Roland said...

In the Maritimes (where I'm from in Canada), one of the rare flowers if the Ladyslipper. I remember patches of them growing wild in the forest, but in the past few decades they've become rarer and rarer because of people picking them. Rare flowers certainly do need our guardianship!

Mason Canyon said...

There are so many wonderful rare wild flowers that most people consider as weeds. Thanks for this reminder that they need to be protected.

Thoughts in Progress

Anonymous said...

We have such a diversity of flowers here. Lots of Japanese gardens too. Those are fun to take the kids too. They ask so many questions. I'm glad they have a healthy respect for nature.

baygirl32 said...

they are very pretty rare flowers

Helen Ginger said...

Oops, I left a comment about his on the Q post. Sorry. This is really good advice about not picking the flowers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli .. yes some of these flowers grow in other areas - and so it is interesting to hear that you remember them in the forest glades .. and noted their decline in Canada too.

I'm sure Canada too is doing what it can to remind everyone that a species extinct is one gone for ever ...

@ Mason - you're right about the weed aspect - anything in open country can be called 'a weed', when in fact it's a field flower (wild flower) ..

@ Stephen .. delighted to hear you're taking the children to see so many wonderful gardens .. and that they're already taking a healthy interest in nature - good to see and know.

@ Baygirl .. they are beautiful aren't they ..

Thanks everyone - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. not a problem .. I brought it over for you:

"Around here, if we've had good rains (which we haven't this year), we'll get fields of beautiful Bluebonnets. People don't pick them as much as they stomp through them to get pictures of their kids sitting on them."

I think I've seen a photo of someone's child doing just that - and I'm sure people do it here with the bluebells ...

I did mention footfall .. because people don't think ..

Great comment Helen - thank you .. blue bonnets = good description ..

Cheers Hilary

Betsy Wuebker said...

Hi Hilary - I am so drawn to the rare and elusive "blue" in the garden. Your gentian photo is gorgeous. I can't begin to enumerate the thousands I must have spent to add blue in my various gardens, with mixed success. It's difficult to garden in the north, and even more difficult to find hardy plants in that color field.

It occurred to me that Pete and I should make a visit to the MN Landscape Arboretum, where we were married five years ago, for our anniversary. Thanks for toggling that thought!

Ann said...

I love wild flowers. Beautiful examples in these photos!

Glynis Peters said...

Catching up on your posts. Wow, you have written some fascinating ones.

I live in a village that is known as the Tulip village. It is dedicated to protecting the small, rare red Tulip of Cyprus. We have a festival day dedicated to it during the week it blooms.

Thanks for your wonderful information, Hilary and I wish you a pleasant Easter.

Rosaria Williams said...

Great post and marvelous advice.

Southpaw said...

I love wildflowers. There is a canyon in Southern California, USA that has a rare form of the chocolate lily and a star blue orchard. They are beautiful and almost extinct. When the Spanish explorers came, they brought with them the mustard seed, which is not native and extremely evasive. It took over. It even wiped out most of the local poppies. But if you’re really lucky and there are the right time you might get to see a few.

Karen Lange said...

Lovely pictures! This is a great reminder to preserve these rare beauties. Have a wonderful weekend!:)

Bob Sanchez said...

I love the flowers, especially the saxifrage.

I'm stopping by on the A-Z Challenge and enjoy your blog.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Betsy .. I too love blue - buying blue hyacinths for Mum! The Gentian photo came from Wikipedia.

I used to buy a lot of blue plants too .. just trying to think of their names - as I haven't gardened for years now ..

But - if blog-toggling has triggered a visit to the Arboretum .. sounds a very good idea .. a lovely thought for an anniversary day out .. enjoy it!!

@ Ann - thanks for coming over .. the flowers are courtesy of Wikipedia .. but referenced from elsewhere ..

@ Glynis .. thanks - delighted you enjoyed your read.

How fun - tulip village - I've been wanting to do a post on Tulips .. might do one in May & I'll bring this snippet in ..

Pleasure .. always good to see you - but I'd rather be with you in the Cypriot sun with a glass of vino besides me!!

@ Rosaria .. many thanks .. glad you enjoyed it ..

Happy Easter everyone .. cheers Hilary

Ella said...

You remind me of picking Lady Slippers n' Mayflowers when I was little. There was a $5 fine, per flower. I had a bouquet fill; I didn't get caught, but never did pick them again. YOU are so right, a worthy post to remind others to respect nature! (I was little)

Tracy said...

There are so many flowers blooming this time of year, I'd rather seem them grow and come back next year!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

*sigh* B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. Now, I'm ready for summer. :-)

Susan Scheid (Raining Acorns) said...

Nothing more beautiful than flowers that grow in the wild. You are so right to offer this reminder of what it takes to keep them there for all to enjoy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - delighted to hear it. How wonderful that you're mentioning the chocolate lily and the star blue orchard - I hope they don't become extinct.

Yes - we too have escaped plants .. or plants brought in without realisation of the effect they have on native species. I hope your local poppies survive ..

@ Bob - good to meet you .. the saxifrage is special .. the stone breaker plant .. I'll be over to your blog .. thanks for being here

@ Ella .. ah I'm sure we all did it - children love picking flowers for their Mum's!! But $5 a fine per flower - good thing you weren't caught .. but taught you a lesson somewhere along the line.

Thanks - we all need to protect our natural heritage ..

@ Tracy .. thanks good point - let all plants live on .. and be there for next year ..

@ Shannon .. great comment .. just say's it all - we're having a wonderful weather time .. it's glorious ..

Thanks everyone - have lovely Easters .. cheer Hilary

Manzanita said...

I found you on the A-Z. Your post subject of rare wild flowers is interesting and you give an important tip of saying don't pick.
Wanna buy a duck

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Raining Acorns .. thanks - those hedgerows, field edges, woodlands and wild flower meadows really do show us our wild plants at their best .. it's the secret pockets of very rare ones we also need to remember.

@ Manzanita .. many thanks for coming to visit again .. it's good to see you - and you're right rare flowers are so important ..

Thanks to you both .. cheers Hilary

K.C. Woolf said...

Thank you for sharing this, and for the sound advice.

A few months ago I discovered this site: Wild Wonders of Europe.

They try to make people more aware of the wildlife in our immediate environment, through beautiful nature photography.

kjmckendry said...

I am fascinated by the plant kingdom. It is amazing how just seeing flowers can make anyone smile.

Theresa Milstein said...

Beautiful. I love flowers, rare or common. I have a rule with my kids, no picking flowers so everyone can enjoy them.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I finally purchased a book on the area wild flowers so this very thing wouldn't happen again. Then the tires in my front hill rotten and caved. My husband and I will spend the day trying to rescue them, but I think it may be too late. Darn.

Great post, Hilary.

TALON said...

So true, Hilary, what you say about the rare plants. It's good to become educated on the rare and endangered species in our areas.

All the varieties you show are so delicate and lovely!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ KC .. had a quick look at the Wild Wonders of Europe - and it looks very interesting. Beautiful photography.

Thanks glad you enjoyed the reminder!

@ Kathryn .. that's wonderful because you'll pass that on to your children .. and I'm sure you must have seen some wonderful plants in the Himalayas ... under your 'R' post.

@ Theresa .. you got it right - enjoy them and leave them for others .. good lessons for the kids to learn ...

@ Joylene - how lovely to be able to look through and read up about the various wild flowers - or check ones out.

It sounds like you have your work cut out ahead of you .. I hope you can rescue some .. if not all.

Thanks ..

@ Talon .. education is the key .. teaching us (and that's adults too) what's special about each little plant.

Wikipedia have some good pictures .. so I am pleased with them .. glad you enjoyed their delicateness too ..

Thanks everyone for coming by .. have a Happy Easter weekend .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful! Puts me in mind of that short story The Samphire by Patrick O'Brien. :O)

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the post about wild flowers. Now I want to plant some pretty flowers in my yard.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Madeleine .. I've just googled The Samphire .. and came up with a forum .. it seems a very sad story .. but lots of feet walking ..

Seems like these flowers shine through .. and need saving from the edge of extinction precipice .. perhaps that's your allusion .. I'm not good with these things!!

@ Susanne .. good to know - the inspiration to get out and plant for the coming summer .. enjoy them.

Thanks Madeleine - interesting comment & Susanne .. enjoy your flowers .. gorgeous weather we've got here .. cheers Hilary

Sheila Deeth said...

Got some gorgeous rare flowers there. I'm still trying to learn what rare, what grows, and what's invasive here.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sheila .. interesting time - trying to work out what's what .. and that's excellent you want to know!

Enjoy your late Spring and Summer plantings and exploration as plants come out .. that'll be fun.

Good to see you - Happy Easter -Hilary

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh my....guilty as charged! I didn't know I was being a "bad girl" when picking wild flowers. Thanks for the education given today. wow...

I liked the analogy about the wild flowers and the challengers. You are so clever.

Great post, Hilary.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Doris .. ah weren't we all .. and little ones all too!! Are you still are guilty .. but no more I see!

Just 1300 and 1200 almost matched .. sort of puts the wild flowers in perspective .. compared to the 1200 challengers and x million bloggers with x billion blogs!

Thanks - enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Good for you, Hilary. Every attempt to educate the masses means we have these little beauties that much longer. At least in Canada, some of our rare beauties can hide in the vastness.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. just seemed an interesting topic .. we forget our flowers in the wild are rare and endangered.

It's those constant nudges reminding us all about things - especially the preciousness of life ... that remind us to be aware and be careful.

In Canada .. I'm sure you've got pockets of plants that haven't yet been found .. even we have here .. but of course once found .. they're found and may not be that secure.

Canada is such a vast and wonderful land .. where rare beauties can hide .. excellent news!

Happy Easter Monday .. Hilary