For lovers of nature and plants, there is nothing more charming than the colour of green fields and gardens or the numerous colourful flowers. There is no attractiveness comparable to that. And the congestion of a country full of that charming nature is a lucky day for lovers of that kind of beauty.
Many memorable things may come to mind when we mention Ireland or the Emerald Isle, but the first thing is the green fields. One fact that some people overlook about plant life in Ireland is that it is the home of many plants and species of flowers. This article is for you if you are a nature lover who likes travelling and exploring something new.
The Flora of Ireland
It’s known that Ireland is a country that represents charming nature. It includes many species of beautiful flowering plants and a range of unique habitats, including wild ones and ordinary ones that grow there despite weather conditions.
Ireland has many native flowers and trees, and its geographical nature of being an island did not prevent that. To be accurate, we can say that there are around 850 native Irish plants and 28 local tree species.
What is the National Flower of Ireland?
The national flower of Ireland is Shamrock. Even though it can be noted that it is not wholly a flower, the shamrock is a small clover, and the Irish consider it the national flower of their country. It became an important symbol for the ancient Irish Druids during ancient times.
In fact, the Celts believed in the significance of the number 3 or the Trinity. So, it looks normal and logical that the three-leafed flower has great importance. Many people highly regard the shamrock as it has mystical properties and the ability to predict the weather. For example, its leaves turn around the sky when the weather warns of a storm.
Amazing Irish Flowers
As we mentioned before, Ireland is rich in plant life; you can find a variety of vivid flowers and greenery around the country. So let’s enjoy this visual beauty and get to know more closely about some types of Irish flowers, whether they are native flowers or grow there.
Easter lily has another name; it’s called Lilium longiflorum. We can notice that the colours of this pretty flower are represented by the three colours of the Irish flag: white, green, and orange.
This fancy flower also symbolises remembrance of the people who lost their lives for their country in Easter Rising Ireland, 1916. On that date, Ireland got its independence and was declared an independent country.
The flower is known as a trumpet lily between gardeners. These wonderful flowers can grow up to 1 metre high. It thrives in Ireland as it grows best in damp soil and a cold climate. It blooms from April to June. The plant can be used as a wealthy source to get steroidal glycosides. But on the other hand, that flower is a toxic plant for cats; they must not eat it or touch it.
Bog Rosemary is a very small Irish wildflower growing in the centre of Ireland. The small (8-10 mm) pink flowers begin to bloom in early May, strong pink at first, then turn to pale pink colour in June. It rarely reaches 40 cm in height. It grows surrounded by moss.
Its branches bear alternate leaves, which are long, narrow, and pointed, white at the bottom, and have scalloped edges. The native plant, bog rosemary, belongs to the Ericaceae family. While the name of the flower, Bog Rosemary, might make you think it is related to the herb, it is a poisonous flower and is not edible.
The buttercup flower is distinguished by its bright yellow colour. The name “buttercup” derives from the small cup-shaped scales that hold the flower’s nectar. There are more than one species of buttercup, all of which grow throughout Ireland. They all have five bright yellow petals, but there are some subtle differences if you look closely.
The notable thing is the remarkable spread of the buttercup flower throughout Ireland; wherever you look, you will likely lay eyes on it. It can thrive everywhere, from lawns to border walls in urban areas.
Buttercups cover the countryside in spring roughly by May, a harbinger of the warmer months on the calendar. It has a strong root system, which makes it grow fast. Many of the varieties native to Ireland can be identified by turning the flower over to check its petals to see how many sepals they have.
Primrose is a perennial wildflower native to Ireland. Its creamy white and yellow colour distinguishes it. There is another type containing white and pink. Its leaves are thin and have a strong aromatic scent.
This flower thrives in the spring months, especially in March and May. The Celts believed that this flower was sacred. The flowers and leaves are edible, having a lettuce flavour. The leaves can be cooked into soups or used to make tea.
In the past, people used the plant to make their own remedies and used it to relieve pain, spasms, and expectorant. It is also used as a cold treatment, as its leaves contain vitamin C.
The Sea Aster, also known as Tripolium in Latin, belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a perennial plant and can reach a length of 50 cm. The flower blooms from July to September. It grows around the Irish coast. It is also found in salt marshes, near estuaries, and sometimes near inland salt works. The young leaves of this plant are edible, as they are used as vegetables.
This pretty plant also has a special feature, which is its resistance and hardness in the face of the harshest climatic conditions. It can even withstand and grow partially submerged in seawater. These beautiful flowers provide a great source of nectar for butterflies.
The plant’s common name is thought to have possibly been derived from the Old English word for cow dung, perhaps because the plant often grew among the manure in the pastures of cows. An alternative derivation just refers to the slippery ground or a bog, the ideal habitat for this plant.
This bright yellow flower is one of the most beautiful Irish wildflowers, and you can find it on roadsides or Irish grasslands. The plant is perennial and blooms in the spring season between April and May. This evergreen or semi-evergreen plant can reach a length of 25 cm.
The plant is edible; a number of countries include it in their foods. They add its leaves as an essential component of salads. It was also used in medical practices.
Early Dog Violet
Early Dog Violet is a charming purple flower. It is a pretty plant, similar to the common violet and can also be confused with the sweet violet. But what sets these early dog violets apart is that they are darker in the middle and have no notch.
The early dog violet is a native perennial which can be found scattered across Ireland. The plants may grow about 15 cm. This flower blooms during the months from March to June. If you look at the shape of the flower, you will find its leaves in the shape of a heart and as wide as it is long. It is also a rich and valuable source of nutrients for many butterflies. Early Dog Violets are known for hardness as they are resistant to low temperatures.
Its scientific name is Jasione Montana. It is a pretty flowering plant, which you can recognise by its flowers, that is a mixture of blue and purple. The flowers thrive in dry, grassy sites, bloom between May and September, and grow in large numbers. It can also grow on elevations and swamps in rocky or sandy areas, quarries and natural cliffs where the soil is weak.
This lovely flower is a popular garden plant, as it is marked by the fact that you can find it as a permanent guest in gardens. It also can adapt to the sandy environment and sunlight.
There is an attractive feature of this flower, which is the ability to see it very well under ultraviolet rays. That makes it appealing to pollinating insects. The patterns and colours they see on the petals guide them to nectar and pollen.
The Daisy flower is also called Bellis perennis, and it belongs to the Asteraceae family. The first part, “Bellis”, comes from the Latin word for pretty “Bellus”, while the second part, “perennis”, is the Latin word for “everlasting”.
This pretty flower is a perennial herbaceous plant, and it is growing up to 20 cm tall. It flowers between March and September. The plant is distinguished by one of the unique phenomena in the plant world, which is that its flowers follow the sun’s position in the sky.
Interestingly, the head of the plant totally closes at night and opens in the morning; because of that, it is called “the eye of the day.” This pretty plant, which appears tender in its appearance, is marked by the fact that it can grow in very low temperatures that reach −35 °C and does not require much attention.
This plant is used in several uses; it can be added to salads or cooked. It can also be used to make tea or as a natural vitamin, and be applied in herbal medicine.
The commonly known Spring Squill has another name; Scilla verna. The plant belongs to the family Asparagaceae. Its blue flowers resemble stars in shape. It is a small perennial plant that usually reaches 5-15 cm tall.
This plant grows and is found in coastal areas. It thrives, specifically in areas where the wind carries sea spray. This perennial bulb blooms between April and May, producing blue-purple, pointed flowers. The flowers are star-shaped with six petals and black plant seeds. It is the county flower for County Down, having been voted by public vote in 2007.
There is no doubt that nature lovers will be thrilled for seeing flowers and discovering new species when visiting a country. Also, Ireland in particular —since we are talking about Irish flowers— is considered one of the countries that are very suitable for recreation and calming the nerves, as it is a quiet country full of green fields and bright colours of flowers.
Therefore, we invite you on a journey to Ireland if you have the chance. On your next trip to Ireland, you can discover at least one of the flower types that we have included for you in this article.
Until we meet on a new journey between the lines of the next article, we will leave you with these articles: The Best City Breaks in Ireland: Where to Go and What to Do, The Ireland Facts That You Need to Know Now, Secret Valley Wildlife Park, County Wexford | A Wild Adventure