Spring flowers: what do they look like and when do they bloom?

Lesser celandine carpet
In spring, woods are covered in carpets of flowers (Photo: Richard Becker/WTML)

Colourful spring flowers are starting to pop up everywhere. On the woodland floor, they bloom early to make the most of the sunlight before the trees get covered in leaves and there’s too much shade.

How many of these can you spot over the next few weeks?


Snowdrops appear from January (Photo: Amy Lewis/WTML)

These little white flowers come out in winter, but are one of the first signs that spring will soon be on the way. They always used to appear in February, but over the past few years they’ve been arriving in January because our climate is warming up.

Did you know… there are different varieties of snowdrop and some are quite rare. Someone once paid £350 for a single bulb!

Lesser celandine

Lesser celandine
Spot carpets of lesser celandine (Photo: Richard Becker/WTML)

These little sunny yellow flowers bloom from February to May. Their petals close up just before it starts to rain so take a look at them to see if you’re going to need your brolly.

Did you know…William Wordsworth, the poet, loved them so much that he wrote poems about them and had them carved on his tomb.


Look for primroses from March (Photo: Margaret Barton/WTML)

Primroses bloom from March to May and are usually a creamy yellow, although you can get white, pink, red and purple ones too.

Did you know… people used to believe that if you ate a primrose, you’d see a fairy! In fact, you can eat primroses and people have been known to put them in salads.

Wood anemone

Wood anemone
Can you see any wood anemone? (Photo: Fran Hitchinson/WTML)

You’ll see carpets of these little white, pink-tinged flowers in old woodlands from March to May.

Did you know… some people think its name comes from the Greek word for wind, ‘anemos’, and that the flower was sent by the Greek wind god to signal the arrival of spring breezes.


Sweet-smelling, delicate bluebells (Photo: David Chamberlain/WTML)

Everyone loves to visit a beautiful bluebell wood in April or May, when the ground is carpeted with these gorgeous flowers.

Did you know… according to folklore, bluebell woods are woven with spells and if you tread on the flowers, you’ll be kidnapped by fairies!


Can you find tiny blue forget-me-not? (Photo: Michelle Blackburn/WTML)

These dainty, bright blue flowers with yellow centres bloom from April to June.

Did you know… people used to believe that if you wore the flower, your lover would never forget you.

Cuckoo flower

Cuckoo flower
Pinky-white cuckoo flowers (Photo: Carole Sutton/WTML)

These pretty, pinkish-white flowers are around from April to June – the time when you’re most likely to hear the call of the cuckoo. Another reason for their name is that their leaves are often covered with a white foam that people call ‘cuckoo spit’.

Did you know… cuckoo spit isn’t spit at all, and it has nothing to do with cuckoos either! It’s the stuff produced by baby froghopper insects to protect themselves as they grow.

Don’t forget to take our spring flowers ID sheet with you when you’re off spotting flowers. How many can you find? Remember, flowers bloom at different times, so don’t worry if you don’t spot them all – you might find them next time you’re out and about.

And don’t forget to take some photos of the wildflowers you’ve spotted and post them on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives.

Woodland Trust nature identification books
Woodland Trust mini ID books (Photo: WTML)

Grown-ups! Have you seen our fantastic mini ID books? They’re bursting with amazing photos and fab facts to help your Nature Detectives brush up their ID skills. Plus, they’re the perfect size for popping in your pocket!

There’s a book for every interest: flowers, fungi, minibeasts, leaves, butterflies – even animal poo!

You can find them for just £4.99 each on our shop. And if you can’t choose just one, you can get two or more for £4 each. Bargain!

Tell us about your favourite spring flowers

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