The green umbels of Alexanders have a musty smell that attracts fly pollinators. A former herb, it fell from favour after celery was introduced. It’s now naturalised near the coast.
Common fly feeding on Alexanders ©Getty
Its nodding flowers may be marked with pink veins and yellow spots at their base. Wood sorrel often grows over decaying branches on the woodland floor.
The leaves of wood sorrel are edible ©Getty
Underground rhizomes produce conical pink inflorescences that erupt through riverbank soil before the leaves expand. It has separate male and female plants.
Butterbur has unscented white-pink flowers ©Getty
Yellow star of Bethlehem
Green-backed petals open to reveal umbels of yellow blooms that are easily overlooked among the lesser celandines. It is locally common on limestone soils.
The yellow star of Bethlehem is a member of the family Liliaceae ©Getty
The only native violet that’s fragrant, this is always the first to flower. Creeping stolons root at their tip, so old plants form large patches in hedgebanks.
Sweet violet is also commonly known as wood violet ©Getty
Similar to wild strawberry, this blooms earlier and its petals don’t touch one another. Fruits are dry and inedible. It is very common on woodland edges.
Look for hairy, blue-green leaves ©Ceridwen, Geograph
Clusters of scented green flowers on this evergreen shrub attract the first bees and brimstone butterflies. Find it in calcareous soils, in hedge banks and beech woods.
Spurge Laurel in flower ©Patrick Roper, Geograph