Sunday, 27 May 2012

Gibside's Flora

Early spring flowers like bluebells, primroses, wood sorrel and anemone have just about finished flowering now.  

Toothwort, a parasitic plant growing from the roots of trees and shrubs is also at the end of its flowering period. 

As the year progresses however these will be replaced by a succession of other colourful plants.  At present you may come across bugle and ground ivy.


Ground ivy
Another plant you may find in 'flower' is cukoo pint, also known as lords-and-ladies.  The club-like flowering part of this plant is known as a spadix and is enclosed by a curled leaf-like bract known as a spathe.


Later in the year look out for the very common yellow flowering wood avens and the more showy apricot coloured flowers of water avens.

Water avens

You should also come across the flowering spikes of common spotted orchids and the less numerous northern marsh orchid from June onwards. 

Northern marsh orchid

Common spotted orchid

If you'd like to see these and more of Gibside's flora you can join one of our rangers on a 'Wildflower walk' on Sunday June 24th at 2.30pm.


  1. Hi Phil,

    Amazing information about wildflower. I love orchid flowers and would like to know what kind of care is essential in planting this flower. I am also interested in Wildflower walk which I missed so please let me know the next date and I will try to join the walk.

    urban tree care

    1. Hi Brenda

      The orchids portrayed are native wild species. These and other species are available from specialist nurseries and they will also offer care/planting advice. Orchid seed is like dust and wind-dispersed but difficult to propagate as it requires the presence of a symbiotic fungus to grow. Sorry you missed the walk other themed walks are planned so check website for details and dates.