Wild flowers in a Cornish spring

Hundreds of different wild flowers can be found when walking in the countryside in Cornwall in spring. Here are a few of the varieties I have photographed recently. I’m not totally confident about all the names so if you spot a mistake then please do not hesitate to correct me. (Please click on an image for more information)

Heath Dog Violet: Similar to the common Dog Violet this plant is found in damp grassland and heath. The flower is very delicate and pale blue has dark veins on the lower petal.

One of the most pungent smells you will come across is the wild garlic or ransoms, which have broad leaves that are edible and umbels of starry white flowers, but you may also come across the three cornered leek (sometimes called wild onion and officially called Allium triquetrum) which is more delicate, and slender than wild garlic, a more feminine version, with slimmer, angular, less shouty leaves and petite flowers. More like a white bluebell. And often found growing amongst bluebells.

Another strong smell as you hike the coastal pathways across the heathland and moors is that of the common gorse. The flowers are scented (variously described as smelling of almonds or coconuts) and are a rich, golden yellow.

common gorse

Some found in the woodland

And a few found along the coast


41 Comments Add yours

  1. I just got a comment yesterday mentioning gorse and i had no idea what it was. I meant to look it up and promptly forgot. So thanks, Jude! Now I know, not to mention thrift. Lovely.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Glad to be of help Barbara 😀

      1. Can you help me with all the other things I’ve forgotten though? That would be a big help! LOL.

        1. Heyjude says:

          If only! I learned a new word today and promptly forgot it within the space of five minutes!

        2. Awesome. I feel much better now.

  2. You’ve made me want to hunt down Polish flowers in the wild. Nearly everything I’ve seen has been very definitely planted.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I suspect a lot of Polish wild flowers will be similar to ours. Is there a wood nearby you can visit? Might catch the bluebells in flower, that’s quite a sight.

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    What I have learned is what the “white bluebells” are. We had a walk at the weekend with lots of wild garlic and bluebells – with white ones in amongst them, exactly as you describe. A timely answer!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well you can get white bluebells but they are the invasive Spanish ones I think.

      1. Anabel Marsh says:

        I didn’t know about invasive Spanish bluebells either!

  4. I love violets and their delicate scent. And the scent of gorse – reminds me of a Pina Colada!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Don’t let Torrie catch you mentioning the A word again! But you are right 😀

      1. Do you mean Americans? Haha. We need to take her on a pub crawl. In Cornwall. Are you free Torrie?

        1. Heyjude says:

          I don’t think she visits this blog so we’ll be fine 😀

        2. So it will be just us then. Where do you want to start?

        3. Heyjude says:

          The King of Prussia (such a delightful name)

  5. Sammy D. says:

    Beautiful! We just funished season 6 and the novies of Doc Martin and now we’re having serious withdrawals for Cornwall even though I’ve never actually had the pleasure of driving its terrifying roads and meeting quirky characters (not you of course).

    1. Heyjude says:

      Do you get Poldark? Now that’s one to set your pulse racing – cracking scenery 😀

      The roads don’t partcularly phase me as we have narrow roads around here too, I think it is people from London who only ever drive on a motorway who get terrified once they leave the A roads. Although saying that I did manage to terrify the OH by driving on a VERY steep, narrow coastal track road. I don’t think he’ll go there again.

      1. Sammy D. says:

        Gosh I watched (and loved) Poldark way back in the ’70’s!!! Hub’s not seen it – thanks for the suggestion!

        Drove in Ireland years ago and don’t know how I made it without a full-on heart attack!!

        1. Heyjude says:

          I never saw that one (living in SA at the time and no TV) but I did enjoy this latest production.

        2. Sammy D. says:

          Can’t remember the actor’s name but he was quite dashing in his day!! I’ll check out the newer version.

    2. Heyjude says:

      Not sure if you saw this: https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/five-photos-five-stories-day-2/
      (all the five photos in the ‘series’ are of Cornwall)

  6. nowathome says:

    gorgeous flowers! The wild garlic is so nice!

    1. Heyjude says:

      You can use the leaves in cooking (milder than the bulb) and for making a pesto, though I have never tried to.

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I adore sea thrift and the scent of both gorse and garlic!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The gorse is lovely, deep breaths!

  8. Such a pretty array of wildflowers in Cornwall, Jude. You’re really making me want to go there. I love that succulent (?) in your header.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Spring is truly wonderful down here. So many flowers. The header is a stonecrop which is a succulent, maybe I’ll catch it in flower in June.

  9. pommepal says:

    Spring is such a magical time in UK Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It truly is PP. I love to see the wild flowers explode and Cornwall does seem to have its fair share.

      1. pommepal says:

        You would love WA in wild flower season. Is your son over in Perth Now? If so you must time your visits for spring time over here…

        1. Heyjude says:

          He is PP – moves into a house in Fremantle (or Freo as you guys say) next week. I am planning on a visit in Sep/Oct 2016 – is that the best time?

        2. pommepal says:

          September is just the end of the season so should still be around the lower Perth area and the fantastic spring festival is held in the Kings Gardens, Perth’s botanical gardens during September and is a must see. Great time to be there. But to see the wild flowers further north August would be better

        3. Heyjude says:

          OK. Thanks for that. I will bear it in mind when booking next year (if they are still there of course, who knows!)

        4. pommepal says:

          Yes it is a long way ahead Jude…

  10. restlessjo says:

    Love the variety! I know some Polish woods for Meg but they’re not so close to Warsaw. The King of Prussia now- that’s a bit closer 🙂 As I skimmed down the comments I thought it was a plant name and I had to go back to get the gist of the conversation. Very distracting, this blogging game 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I know exactly what you mean! Some people get LOADS of comments and I find I dally there for ages getting diverted and distracted and then realise that a couple of hours have gone by and I haven’t even checked the Reader yet!!

      1. restlessjo says:

        Reader? Oh heck! Seldom get there though the new phone proved useful abroad in that respect (remember I lost the good oldie off the ferry? 🙂 ) When I’m newly back I simply return comment visits- there’s no other way. But then I’ll see something superb from someone like Lignum Draco on Paula’s blog and off I go. Funnily I didn’t really miss the blog in Poland. Maybe i should start to wean myself away from it? 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          I have stopped following several blogs that never visit me. Figure there are enough people who do! And those who post several times a day now just get a like with the occasional comment. When I was in Cornwall I only had time to catch up in the evening and even then the connection was flaky, so I missed loads, but like you, it didn’t bother me so much.

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