Winter flower hunts

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Picture of Galanthus elwesii ssp monostichus
Galanthus elwesii ssp monostichus. Photo: Dawn Nelson

The BSBI has hugely encouraged botanists over the last few years to get out and find plants in flower in early January for the New Year Plant Hunt, do have a look at the 2017 report, analysis and much more here.

But as many of you will already know the Wild Flower Society has been running December to February winter months hunts for many decades. Jill Oakley and I have been doing these for several years now; and find it keeps our botanical brains in tune for when the season really takes off in spring, as well as being enjoyable. This year we have been joined by Sue Denness and this week we ventured to Felpham SZ99P in search of a bit of sunshine. It has been very cold and frosty north of the downs. Sadly the sun eluded us, as it disappeared within minutes of our arrival at the meeting point. Undeterred we carried on and were very happy to find 48 species in flower including Galanthus elwesii, G. nivalis and the increasingly common hybrid G. nivalis x plicatus; plus Crithmum maritimum and Frankenia laevis that were nice to find, though not yet flowering.

We added eight species to the already substantial list, not bad for a cold January day.