Spring Flowers

Sunday, April 13th 2014

Many years ago children were taught about Primroses, thrum-eyed and pin-eyed.  (I remember the book well as I prepared my lessons from it.)  Looking at the photographs of Primroses, both types are found at Foxglove.  A web site report from the Hampshire/Sussex border states that they have 75% pin-eyed and 25% thrum-eyed. No Primroses have (yet) been counted at Foxglove! 

Thrum-eyed, shown below, have the stigma part way down the tube and the stamens at the top.

Thrum-eyed Primrose

Pin-eyed Primroses have the stigma at the top of the tube and the stamens part way down.

Pin-eyed Primrose

The different arrangement of stigma and stamens, means that these flowers must be cross pollinated by insects that have long proboscis.

Many tree flowers are wind pollinated, this is not so with willow.  The yellow catkins seen around the reserve are probably those of Goat Willow.  The pollen is strongly scented, so attracting early flying insects.  They then visit the female flowers (shown below) to collect nectar and in so doing, bring about pollination.

Female willow flower

We have been looking for the Wood Anemones for the last week to no avail; they have now made their first appearance.  The white petals are not petals but sepals.  They only open when the sun shines.

Wood Anemone

Barren Strawberry is a plant that can be found growing along the edges of paths, on wood piles and on the moor.  The sepals can be clearly seen between the petals.  Unlike the Wild Strawberry, it does not produce a fruit.

Barren Strawberry

Coltsfoot, often a flower we struggle to find in bloom, has shown itself in many places this year. It too only opens when the sun comes out.


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