Posted by: Ross Gardner | March 31, 2019

White Wash

Having previously extolled the simple beauty of the flushing foliage of the humble Hornbeam, it is a theme I feel compelled to continue.  Beneath those unfurling leaves may spread another of the wonders of the springtime British wood.  The cerulean flood of the Bluebell that can smother a woodland floor come the later weeks of April rightly receives a great deal of attention, but less so, it would seem, its precursor.  Yet to find the ground dappled in spring sunshine and awash with the white faces of Wood Anemone is arguably no less a spectacle in its own right.

Wood Anemone - Thrift Wood (scaled)

A wonderful spread of Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa).

I am happy to say that there is a wood not too far from where I live (the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Thrift Wood) where to visit in late-March/early April is to be met with such a scene.  In common with many of the woodland plants that thrive beneath the tree canopy their time is the early spring before the emerging foliage above robs them of sufficient sunlight for them to carry out their life-cycle.  This is part of the reason that the spectacular appearance such plants is as stunning as it is, this glorious abundance of colour which proves the arrival of the season proper and an indelible antidote to austere tones of the winter in retreat.

Wood Anemone plus ladybird (scaled)

An image of spring – Anemone plus Seven-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata).

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