One of the first signs that the spring growth is truely established is the appearance of the Wood Anemones on the wooland floor. They are normally found in ancient woodland such as these in Swithland Wood in Leicestershire in England. Like all flowers they need lots of sunlight so these flowers appear in late March before the leaves get established in the tree canopy above. They are at their best around mid April but the weather can make a difference.
Its seeds are mostly infertile and it spreads slowly through the growth of its roots.
The Wood anemone is named after the Greek wind god, Anemos, who sent his namesakes, the anemones, in early spring to herald his coming. This legend gives the flower its other common name of ‘Windflower’.
Of course the wood anemone is a vital source of early pollen for insects and bees.
After the long winter and as the days start to lengthen the woodland starts to renew with the first signs of new growth. The images here were all captured in Swithland Wood in Leicestershire in the UK. As with all woods it has it’s own unique characteristics. It is recognised as a site of special scientific interest.
Many of the buds on the trees are visisble throughout the winter but the emergence of the new leaves is a joy.
Another early apperance in the woodland are these hazel catkins. They are in fact flowers but without petals.
Of course the mosses seem to thrive thought the winter. A close inspection in spring will show some clesr new growth.
The most noticeable new comers in the spring are the low growing woddland flowers. They are successful at this time of year becuase they don’t have to compete with a heavy tree canopy which block the sunlight. They are also vital in supporting early bees, butterflies and moths. The purple flower is an early dog violet. The yellow flowers are Lesser Celandine.
There is a section of Swithland Wood called Stocking Wood where some species are very prolific. In late March and April the whole floor is covered in these Wood Anemonies.
Another vital element to the ecology of the woodland are the pollen bearing trees. Here is the fabulous Hawthorn Blossom.
My next blog will be when the Bluebells are fully out.