New Years Day Plant Twitch

On New Years day many people like to get out for a walk. If you are a birdwatcher and especially if you are a bit twitchy then it is also a good opportunity to start your new year list.

In case you are not aware twitchers are birdwatchers who keep lists, they have a life list and normally a year list and possibly a garden list or a county list. I once knew a chap who had a TV list where any bird he spotted on the TV was recorded, but not birds that appeared in a wild life programe so he kept his eye open for birds landing on the outfield of a cricket pitch during the test matches, or maybe in a news report. It takes all sorts!

There are also twitchers for other species like butterflies or moths and for mammals and wild flowers.

New years day may not sound like a good time to look for wild flowers in bloom but it is surprising how many are actually flowering at this time of year. In my book on Woodland Wild Flowers the plants are grouped into 6 seasons. Yes six, and that is because Spring was divided into Early Spring and Late Spring and Summer was divided into Early Summer and High Summer and then we had Autumn and finally Winter.

The winter list is composed of just 10 species including Snowdrops, Winter Aconites Winter Heliotrope and Lesser Celandine.. All of wich you could find in flower on New years day. More and more species are being recorded on the first of January, at least 10 can easily be found and totals of 20 or 30 are often recorded by keen twitchy wild flower spotters. Of course the 10 in my book are all shade tolerant, woodland species and they are also ones which come into flower in the winter. There are many which are not woodland species and others like White Dead Nettle that predominantly flower in early Spring but in fact you can usually find them at any time of the year.

I have at the moment, in my garden, Bittercress and Ivy-leaved Toadflax in flower and there is some Lesser Celandine in bud, not quite in flower. In our wood there is Gorse in flower and some Hazel bushes already have Catkins out.

Categories Woodland wild flowers

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