Opposite-Leaved Golden-Saxifrage (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium) – Glóiris Saxifragaceae
A beautiful sign of Spring, low growing and favours damp and shaded habitats, if you’re in a woodland at this time of year, you will possibly see carpets of it.
I spotted this species growing in a shady, wooded area locally in Donegal during February, only some were in flower at this point, but on my most recent visit in April, I have noticed that it is fully in flower. As mentioned above, this usually grows in small clumps to large carpets and brightens up a woodland floor with hues of green and yellow.
The actual flowers of the plant are slightly different to the other plants we have covered so far. The plant does not have petals, but rather sepals which surround the reproductive parts of the plant. Sepals are generally found underneath or below petals and are usually green in colour, however there are some occasions were petals are not present and sepals fit almost seamlessly into the role.
The leaves of the plant are in opposite pairs (as the name suggests) and slightly rounded with blunt teeth. The leaves can often appear waxy and are generally quite shiny when in direct sunlight (or the flash from the camera) but are actually are wee bit hairy.
The plant, while not hard to find (as it clumps and carpets areas) is quite low growing and individuals are small.
Remember if you find the plant and you’re happy with the identification, you can submit the record to the National Biodiversity Data Centre who with the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland are currently running a Spring Flowers Project
Remember if you have any ideas for future posts or if you want help with identification you can ask me on Twitter @OshDuffy.