Species of the Month - March 2018

Each month we feature a picture of a species to be found on The Commons. Wherever possible, all species featured have been photographed here. This month we are featuring the Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria).

The cheery celandine, a member of the Buttercup family, is one of the earliest of our native wild flowers to bloom. Its starry yellow and gold blooms can be seen as early as February in woodland, damp meadows, hedge banks and streamsides. Look out for it along Foxes Beck and on School Common, where the top photo was taken by Cornel Howells. It is a hardy plant, undaunted by late winter frosts and snow. This has earned it the floral name of “spring messenger”

It has attracted several local names such as bright eyes and butter and cheese, and less attractively was also known as pilewort as it was given as a herbal cure for haemorrhoids.

As one of our earliest flowers, it provides an important nectar source for queen bumblebees as they emerge from hibernation and for other early insects.

The lower photo was taken by Malcolm Thompson in 2016.

More pictures and information can be found on the Wildlife Trusts website.

Click here to see the other Species of the month in 2018.

Click here to see the Species of the Month for last year, or here for 2016's Plants of the Month.