Shades of winter

I took a walk along the River Witham in Grantham at lunchtime on Friday to see what was still in flower and found a few unexpected surprises.

There were the predictable long-season species such as daisy, dandelion, chickweed, white dead-nettle and ragwort which add a familar and most welcome splash of colour to the monotone greens.

There is a patch of winter heliotrope along the Witham, just near to Grantham College, and one of the buds had broken to reveal the first of these truly winter-blooming flowers. They are a delicate white flowers, flecked with purple which typically appear between December and February.

Winter heliotrope - Petasites fragrans

Winter heliotrope – Petasites fragrans

Much more surprising was a truly spring species – wild primroses were flowering just behind a set of heras fencing. These usually flower from March to May but at least 5 flowers had appeared on this patch in November.


Wild primrose – Primula vulgaris

The frost last weekend might have put paid to many of the stragglers and hangers-on from summer, but the new wave of winter/spring species are not too far away!


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