Unseasonal wild flowers in Cardiff
This year’s mild winter weather has allowed an amazing 63 wild flowers to be found in flower, which is much more than the normal average of 20-30 species. A wild flower hunt around Cardiff by Dr Tim Rich of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and Dr Sarah Whild of Birmingham University this week (January 2012) showed how warm the winter has been so far.
The diversity of wild plants in flower in mid-winter is very unusual. Dr Rich, Head of Vascular Plants at Amgueddfa Cymru said: "Most of the wild flowers have continued to flower because autumn frosts have not been severe enough to knock the plants back for the winter. Only winter heliotrope is supposed to be flowering at New Year, but three spring-flowering species – hazel, primrose and lesser celandine - were flowering very early."
Only gorse was seen flowering on New Year’s Day 2011, which was not surprising given the extreme cold and snow of last year.
The mild winter has allowed many garden flowers to bloom early too, with Camellia, Forsythia and Laurastinus flowering already.
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