Sand crocus on the Warren

At the end of March until mid April one of Britain’s rarest plants comes into flower on Dawlish Warren – the Sand Crocus Romulea columnae. Most of the plants grow on the Warren Golf Course on the first and second holes. It is a tiny plant which only opens its flowers when the sun shines.

Sand crocus
It has six petals and long thin leaves – the petals are very pale violet with purple lines

Warren 3
The plant only grows in the UK on Dawlish Warren and another coastal site in Cornwall

Forget me not
The sand crocus grows in very short species rich turf along with other plants such as this Forget-me-not, this is possibly the Early Forget-me-not but I didn’t take a specimen to confirm the identification.

Storksbill
This is the Common Storkbill

The rarest wild plant in Devon or is that Britain?

I went to Dawlish Warren yesterday to look for the Sand Crocus Romulea columnae. It only grows on the Warren and one other place  in the UK (Polruan in Cornwall). It was first discovered in 1834. Here is a little more information.

Warren 36 petals – stringy leaves

Warren 4It is about 4mm across

Warren 5It flowers from late March to April and the flowers only open in the sunshine