'Extinct' wildflower found in Scottish woodland

An extremely rare flowering plant has been found at Dollar Glen in Scotland.

Published: May 31st, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Toothwort, a rare parasitic wild flower was discovered by National Trust ecologists, who were on a routine inspection of the condition of the Glen.


This wild flower has not been seen for over a decade as it was believed to be extinct in the UK. Toothwort has no chlorophyll and can only survive on elm and hazel roots in shaded areas.

It closely resembles a foxglove, as it too has thick fleshy leaves hiding the stem. However, the leaves on toothwort are considered to be less colourful.

Adding to the excitement of finding the flower, another rare plant was discovered, Meadow Saxifrage, which was also thought to have disappeared in the UK.

Both these findings come as very good news for the National Trust as Scotland's wildflowers and plants have been in decline.

Many of Scotland's wildflowers and plants are at a high risk of disappearing altogether, following in the footsteps of the Ghost Orchid, which has been declared extinct in the UK.

The National Trust for Scotland hopes to maintain the plant so it can survive and to conserve it into the future.


Meadow Saxifrage and Buttercups Photograph: ©Shutterstock



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