If you’re in search of some beautiful flowers but can’t seem to source a good bunch locally – there’s a logical reason why. Each part of the UK grows different types of flowers thanks to envoronmental factors affecting each reason.
Stride UK has put together an incredible flower map to show exactly where that blooming bunch you bought earlier in the week is likely to have stemmed from, and where you should go in search of a specific kind.
North East England
The very small, very bright blue Spring gentian (Gentiana verna) can only be found in the county of Durham and it’s becoming increasingly rare. Elsewhere in the region, you’ll find the Bloody crane’s-bill (Geranium sanguineum), the county flower of Northumberland. The ‘crane’s bill’ of its name refers to long red stem rather than the magenta leaves.
In London you’re likely to find pink-purple Rosebay willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium), which was commonly seen around town after the London Blitz. It thrives on barren land – which makes sense due to the lack of green space in the city. The flower has even been nicknamed ‘bombweed.’ Rosebay is also very useful, and is often utilized to make fabrics, medicines, and sweetly spicy foods such as sweets, syrups, and tea.
East of England
Although there are many wildflowers at risk in the UK, most of those chosen to be county emblems are in good health – perhaps because voters were more familiar with more common blooms. But in the East of England, the Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) of Cambridgeshire is extremely vulnerable and hard to source.
North West England
In Manchester, you’ll find tons of fluffy white flowers of cotton-grass (Eriophorum angustifolium). These flowers resemble the textile that powered Manchester through the dark days of the industrial revolution, when the city was nicknamed ‘Cottonopolis.’
Lancashire, of course, is known for the famous red rose, which you’ll find on the badge of the cricket team.
South East England
The Dog-rose (Rosa canina) has a rich cultural history in the UK. Celebrated by Shakespeare in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” where the play reads: “On a summer’s day, in sultry weather/Five Brethren were born together/Two had beards and two had none/And the other had but half a one.”
South West England
Primrose is another flower with special significance in the UK. April 19th has become known as Primrose Day as Queen Victoria used to send bunches of them to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and this marks the date of his death. While it remains stable at the moment, the primrose suffered in the heatwaves of the 1970s so the outlook for the flower as global warming advances is not favourable.
West Midlands of England
It’s not Christmas just yet, but mistletoe can be found stealing kissed all year long in the West Midlands.
The less-welcoming Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) of neighbouring Shropshire is a bit more intimidating. It’s an alien-looking plant that traps and consumes insects with secretions of glues and acids from its tentacles.
The north of Scotland is home to the Grass-of-Parnassus – a symbol of cold and the ‘the wilderness and wet.’ This honey-scented bog flower, county emblem of Sutherland, is doing well up north, but in decline in southern regions due to land drainage.
In the south, Harebells and vivid Maiden Pinks take over the land bringing a splash of colour to the highlands.
With fields of green to grow, the Welsh poppy is an inhabitant of the valleys and streams of its native land. Yellow is a popular colour for the county flowers of Wales: and you’ll also see the Radnor lily, which grows only in a secret location on a single hill in Radnorshire.