Nature on our doorsteps: The first of the yellow spring flowers
Hazel’s yellow catkins shed their pollen into the springtime breeze

Nature on our doorsteps: The first of the yellow spring flowers

One of our earliest native plants to flower every year is the Hazel bush.  Sometimes as early as January, Hazel’s drooping stems of tiny yellow male flowers dangle in the breeze.

Because pollinating insects generally do not fly so early, Hazel relies on the wind to carry its clouds of pollen to the nearby little tufts of red female Hazel flowers.

Down at ground level, another yellow wildflower is just beginning to bloom.

In sheltered spots along hedgerows, riverbanks, and woodland edges, Lesser Celandine is beginning to open.

Lesser Celandine is a member of the buttercup family, and it is one of the first of these to flower.

While it has the familiar shiny yellow petals of the buttercups, Lesser Celandine’s petals are longer and more slender.

Lesser Celandine is one of the earliest flowering members of the buttercup family

The plant’s leaves grow in clumps and are glossy and heart-shaped.

Like other springtime flowers, Lesser Celandine blooms early, before the trees burst into leaf and cast their shade onto the woodland floor or the hedgerow margin.

Lesser Celandine’s shiny yellow petals reflect the weak rays of the springtime sunshine.

This helps attract any pollinating insects that may be about on warm spring days.

The plant, however, does not fully rely on insects to fertilise its flowers and help it spread. It can also spread via its fig-shaped roots.

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