Early Spring woodland flowers

Spring in the ancient oak, ash, beech and hornbeam woodlands of the North Downs is announced by wood anemones, sweet violets and celandine but quickly followed by a flurry of others. Moschatel, colloquially known as townhall clock or five-faced bishop is a diminutive and uncommon plant found in small colonies amongst the much showier swathes of bluebells and spikes of yellow archangel. A small number of toothwort are emerging in an old hazel coppice; these are parasitic plants, lack chlorophyll and look sickly and dangerous. The ancient woodlands are at their best in early Spring just as the fresh green leaves appear on the trees; and none hereabouts is complete without an abandoned, burnt out car.

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