Four wild flowers to spot in early spring

Four wild flowers to spot in early spring

Spring squill (Scilla verna) - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Whether in your local woodlands, in your garden or by the roadside, seeing spring flowers can bring so much joy. We've looked at four wild spring flowers you might see out and about.

Glimpsing your first burst of colour peeking through the soil heralds the arrival of spring and brighter days to come.

This year, the first signs of spring have been more eagerly awaited than any other. Here are four of our favourite early spring flowers for you to look out for on your local walks!

Snowdrop (galanthus nivalus) - Chris Lawrence

Snowdrop (galanthus nivalus) - Chris Lawrence


These familiar clusters of white flowers can be seen from early January. Despite their popularity, they're not actually thought to be native to the UK. However, the early garden escapees have since become naturalised and they were first recorded in the wild in the late 18th century.

As one of the first signs that winter is ending, snowdrops are often seen as a symbol of hope for the year ahead. However, seeing a single snowdrop was once considered a bad omen - a sign of impending death.

'Nodding' white flowers appear on a single stem, with narrow grey-green leaves around the base of the stem.

Lesser celandine

Lesser celandine (ficaria verna) - Richard Burkmar

Lesser celandine

Seeing carpets of these sunshine-yellow flowers as they bloom in March is sure to lift your spirits. A member of the buttercup family (and not actually related to greater celandine), these flowers are an important source of early nectar for bees and other pollinators. 

It has bright yellow star-like flowers around 3cm across, with glossy green heart-shaped leaves.


Slightly later in spring, from April to May, many woodlands burst into a riot of purple, with sometimes millions of bluebells carpeting the ground beneath the trees. This early flowering allows them to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to the forest floor habitat, before the canopy becomes too thick.

The bluebell is perhaps one of our most unmistakeable woodland flowers. The UK is home to two varieties - our native common or English bluebell and the Spanish bluebell, which escaped from Victorian gardens and has since become naturalised. 

The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at the stem - common bluebells have drooping stems with all the flowers on one side. They have a sweet scent and deep indigo colour. Spanish bluebells have upright stems with paler violent flowers all around, and no scent.

Wood anemone

Wood anenome (Anemone nemorosa) - Laura Preston

Wood anemone

A spring delight, the wood anemone grows in dappled shade in ancient woodlands. It's also planted in graveyards, parks and gardens. Its white flowers bloom between March and May. 

The wood anemone is a low-growing plant, with six to seven large, white or purple-streaked 'petals' (which are actually its sepals), surrounding a cluster of distinctive yellow anthers

The Wood anemone is named after the Greek wind god, Anemos, who sent his namesakes, the anemones, in early spring to herald his coming. This legend gives the flower its other common name of 'windflower'.