Western Isles Wildflowers
Western Isles wildflowers is a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.
Wildflowers in the Western Isles have a home with an oceanic climate. Cool and moist with powerful winds, generally a summer growth period of fine clear weather, and a winter with few frosts compared with the rest of the UK
The Western Isles are so far North that sunrise on the 1st of January in the Western Isles was at 9.16 am, and sunset was sunset at 3.42pm. So shortly after noon the winter sky was already starting to get darker! In June it becomes possible to read a book outside by natural light at midnight.
This means that plants grow differently. The growing season starts later than in more southern parts of Britain. Right into late May nothing seems to be growing much, with just a few species flowering, but during the months of June, July and August the speed of growth becomes truly astounding, and then in September the season slows again. (See what is flowering in May)
The most abundant time for the wildflowers is a fantastic crescendo in late July
( I have a list of over 100 species identfied as flowering in Harris one glorious day in July 2005) but frequently around about then we get a wet gale which burns away the majority of growth, and signals the turn of the season towards Autumn.
As the spring turns to summer, there is a changing predominant colour to the landscape. Verdant green turns to white, pink, yellow, building to a flamboyant finale of every colour. For example on the 11th June, 2006 the predominant wildflower colour was white.
The Western Isles wildflowers pages are a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.
None of these pages can ever be complete, most just begin with photographs to help with identification, then are developed as new lore is found, and time allowed to add it in - a joy!
Once you get clear about having identified just a few species, your brain has learnt how to process and store the information. The rest comes easy, and we all learn quickly when we are enjoying ourselves.
I was totally surprised how exciting and relaxing it is to learn about our wildflowers!
May you find the same...
Photography note: Flower pictures often come out better on grey days and late in the day, especially delicate colours like the harebells.
Learning note: Making notes or sketches in your book margins about where you have seen a flower or bird etc makes a book into an interactive tool, and is more enaging to the mind aiding the memory.