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What’s your favourite wild flower?

by Alice Wright

Primroses in spring, Primula vulgaris.

Primrose, copyright: Bob Gibbons

A poll to find the nation’s favourite wild flower is being held by conservation charity Plantlife.

Members of the public have until June 5th to vote for their favourite from a shortlist of 25 wild flowers chosen by Plantlife’s members. The winner will be announced soon afterwards.

Plantlife expert Dr Trevor Dines said: “I love this shortlist produced by Plantlife members – it’s slightly bonkers and in many ways reflects us as a nation. There are country icons we can be proud of, like dog rose for England and wild daffodil for Wales. There are familiar plants we all know and love – bluebell, primrose and foxglove. But then there are some real oddities. Who would have thought chickweed wintergreen, a rare plant of woods in Scotland and northern England, would have made the list?”

Musing on how she would vote, Plantlife’s Vice-President Rachel de Thame said: “Choosing a favourite wild flower is like being asked to choose a favourite child! For me, though, it would be snake’s head fritillary for its shy beauty and simple elegance. This flower has disappeared from 17 vice counties so I hope this national vote will show that we want this gradual vanishing of our wild flowers to stop.”

The vote is part of Plantlife’s 25th anniversary celebrations and the organisation’s Chief Executive, Marian Spain, explained that it also had a more serious side. “One in five of Britain’s wild flowers is under threat and flowers that have been present for centuries across our counties are disappearing year in, year out.”

To cast your vote, visit www.plantlife.org.uk/wild_plants/nations_favourite_wildflower

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