The most iconic sign of spring is the Daffodil (Narcissus spp). The national flower of Wales and a symbol of new beginnings, the only species native to Britain is known as the ‘Lent’ or ‘Easter Lily’ (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), as most other species originate from North Africa and South Europe. Truly wild daffodils are found in damp woodlands, fields and grasslands. They have a bright golden yellow central tube, pale yellow/grey petals and are much smaller than the typical garden variety.
Another common (but less talked about) wildflower is the Sweet Violet (Viola odorata). Naturalised across the UK, it is found in broadleaved woodlands, on banks and under hedgerows. This gorgeous little flower can vary in colour, though is primarily blue, purple or white, and it has two pairs of unequal petals and one single petal lower down. The deep green leaves are heart-shaped and enlarge as the plant continues to flower. Sweet Violets are edible and can be candied to decorate cakes. In fact, over recent years, they have become increasingly rare due to foraging for culinary purposes. This has a big impact on early spring butterflies, such as Brimstone, Orange-tip and the Large and Small White butterfly, as Sweet Violets provide essential nectar for these insects. So, for this plant, I would encourage you to look, but please don’t touch!