Winter Wild Flowers in Normandy

The Normandy countryside can be a little drab in winter but despite the short days and the chill of wind and rain, if you know where to look it, you will find gems to cheer a leaden heart in the form of some hardy flowers that refuse to succumb to winter's cold grip. 

Some will be brave hangers-on from previous warmer days whilst others are the very earliest blooms, taking advantage of the slightest rise in the temperature and standing proud, ready to remind us that Spring will return soon. Seldom big and often rather bedraggled, these flowers are not like their showy cousins of Spring, Summer and Autumn but their determination to bloom in the darkest of days makes them all the more a joy to see.

Take a walk around the footpaths near to Eco-Gites of Lénault and unless we have a prolonged cold spell or a covering of snow, you can be sure to find some wild flowers.  From now until the end of February (I always say Spring starts on March 1st) I will record which wild flowers I have spotted on my walks ... so do pop back to this blog post from time to time to see how the list is growing.

Update - we are now in March and the spring wild flowers are bursting into bloom en masse. But these 33 species (and the wonderfully spotty leaves of the Early Purple Orchids) were all the more special for flowering in the dark months of winter.  There wasn't one day all through winter that I didn't see a wild flower although it's true that on some days they were not easy to find and were rather raggedy!

Winter Wild Flowers seen around Eco-Gites of Lénault in Normandy, France




Daisy Pâquerette Bellis perennis
Dandelion Pissenlit Taraxacum officinale
Lesser Celandine Ficaire fausse-renoncule Ranunculus ficaria
Early Dog Violet Violette des bois Viola reichenbachiana
Cowslip Primevère officinale Primula veris
Primrose Primevère commune Primula vulgaria
White Dead Nettle Ortie blanche Lamium album
Red dead Nettle Lamier pourpre Lamiun purpureum
Bramble Ronce commune Rubus fruticosus
Gorse Ajonc d'Europe Ulex europaeus
Groundsel Séneçon commun Senecio vulgaris
Chickweed Mouron blanc Stellaria media
Field Speedwell Veronica persica Veronica persica
Red Campion Compagnon rouge Silene dioica
Ragwort Séneçon de Jacob Senecio jacobaea
Shepherd's Purse Capselle bourse-à-pasteur Capsella bursa-pastoris
Mayweed Matricaire maritime Tripleurospermum maritimum
Field Pansy Pensée des champs Viola arvensis
Field Madder Shérardie Sherardia arvensis
Field Woundwort Epiaire des champs Stachys arvensis
Cat's Ear or Hawkbit Porcelle ou Léontodon Hypochaeris or Leontodon
Sow Thistle Laiteron maraîcher Sonchus oleraceus
Bush Vetch Vesce des haies Vicia sepium
Galanthus nivalis
Wood Cranesbill
Géranium des bois
Geranium sylvaticum
Oxeye Daisy Marguerite commune  Leucanthemum vulgare
Lesser Stitchwort Stellaire graminée Stellaria graminea
Creeping Cinquefoil Potentille rampante Potentilla reptans
Green Hellebore Ellébore vert Helleborus viridis
Wild Daffodil Narcisse jaune Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Wild Strawberry Fraisier des bois Fragaria vesca
Sweet Violet Violette odorante Viola odorata
Early Purple Orchid (leaves only) Orchis mâle (Feuilles uniquement) Orchis mascula

Winter flowers in Normandy, France

Early Dog Violet - Red Campion

Primrose - Lesser Celandine

Winter flowers in Normandy, France

Cowslip - Field Pansy

Bramble - Gorse

Sweet Viiolet, seen near Eco-Gites of Lenault, Normandy, France

Sweet Violet

Red Dead Nettle seen near Eco-Gites of Lenault, Normandy France

Red Dead Nettle

Early Purple orchid leaves, Normandy, France

Leaves of an Early Purple Orchid

What winter wild flowers have you seen?

Winter Wild Flowers in Normandy,France