Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

Seeing the first snowdrops of the year is so heart-lifting and indeed the flower is also known as the Flower of Hope. It is not a native, rather an alpine plant that is accustomed to snow and cold climes. It even has a little protective leaf at the top of its stem to push through […]

Pine (Pinaceae)

Just in case you were wondering, yes, you really can eat your Christmas Tree! All pine nuts are edible and so are the needles from the majority of pine, spruce or fir trees, including the Norway spruce which is a popular choice of Christmas tree in this country. The needles have a strong and distinctive […]

FORAGING

I know that foraging isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds at this time of year, although there are still pickings to be had, but I think it’s a good time to talk about the idea of foraging in general and in preparation for next year’s bounty. So what are you legally allowed to forage […]

Mistletoe (Viscum Album)

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on several species of trees although it is most commonly found growing on lime and apple trees in the UK. Its roots reach deep into the vascular network of trees in order to feed on the sap. This can lead to branches dying or even, if the infestation […]

Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Ilex is the only living genus in the Aquifoliaceae family and consists of several hundred species of evergreen trees or shrubs with dark green, shiny and often prickly leaves. They are found growing mostly in North America, southern Europe or Asia. English holly (Ilex aquifolium) and American holly (Ilex opaca) are the species most commonly […]