There aren’t many plants that naturally flower in the depths of our winter. Even snowdrops usually wait until February or March before really putting on a show.
Whilst out on my Boxing Day run, in an attempt to start to burn off a few extra Christmas calories, I found a small patch of a plant that does flower in the winter.
Winter heliotrope is a non-native species that has naturalised and is now quite widespread. The flower spikes rise above the mass of kidney shaped leaves, and the flowers turn to face the winter sun – when there is any!
The patch I found today was on the side of a path along the River Stour at Christchurch. It may not be a native species, but it does add a bit of colour and variety to the hedgerow at a time when colour is at a premium!