A good friend of mine is coming to visit in April and so I'm trying to plan some fun outings around the island for us. One of the ideas I have is to take some walks to local landmarks such as the "Real" Fairy Bridge and perhaps to one of the ancient wishing wells which are peppered across the island. In spring the glens on the Isle of Man are filled with the vivid colour and scent of wild bluebells and I truly hope we have some sunny days so we can be outdoors to enjoy them.
I don't know about you but while I'm traipsing around the countryside I like to look at the plants and flowers that I pass by and try to identify as many as I can. As well as edible greens, I also tend to pick anything interesting and unfamiliar to take home and identify. Now with my work on building a wildflower meadow at the allotment I'm even more interested in learning the names of our own local wildflowers. And with my friend being a biology teacher, I thought that maybe I could put together a little identification exercise for when we're out on our little scenic adventures.
While I haven't been able to find a comprehensive guide to Manx wildflowers I have come across a document which lists our local varieties out in plain text. Using it as a reference, I searched online for pictures of the listed flowers in order to compile some visuals. I've also added a few varieties of flowers you see growing wild but which aren't considered native, such as Fuschia and Bergenia.
The pictures in the below post aren't all the images I've collected so far and are certainly not representational of all wildflowers on the Isle of Man. But they're a good start and I thought I'd share them for anyone interested in trying to identify flowers themselves. I'll follow this post up in some time with even more but hope this will give anyone interested in local Manx flora a good place to start.
If you have any specific questions on Manx wildflowers, I urge you to get in contact with Andree Dubbeldam who runs the Wildflowers of Mann project. He's our local expert and will be able to give you much more information than I'm able to. And if you're interested, he also offers volunteer opportunities to help out in his work in Manx wildflower conservation.
Happy flower hunting :)