Wildlife to watch in April
Greater Stitchwort grows in woods, roadside verges, hedgerows and grassy banks.
It has many other common names including 'Wedding Cakes', 'Star-of-Bethlehem', 'Daddy's shirt-buttons' and 'Snapdragon' - the latter because its stems are brittle and easily break.
At first glance they appear to have 10 petals. In fact they have 5 petals, each of which is deeply divided. It's pretty star-shaped, white flowers bloom from April to June; as the seed capsules ripen, they can be heard 'popping' in late spring.
Also look out for
Primroses are hardy plants, flowering throughout spring in woodland areas. They are low-growing with rough textured, tongue-like leaves and grow in a rosette. Their flowers are large and creamy with deeper yellow centres, and often appear clustered together.
Primroses were highly used in folk medicines and in magical potions during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, preparations can be used to treat a variety of ailments, and the flowers and leaves can be used to manufacture wine, teas and even eaten in salads. As well as being edible for humans, the primrose plant is an important food source for the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly.
Orange Tip Butterfly
This butterfly’s name only applies to the male’s colours, who’s wings are white
with orange tips. Females have black wing tips and mottled green underwings.
They are widespread, preferring damp habitats such as river and stream banks,
as well as woodland glades, meadows and hedgerows.
Orange-tips lay their eggs on garden plants including Honesty and Dame’s violet
and the caterpillars feed on plants in the Cruciferae family, particularly
Cuckooflower and Mustard.
Go to next month's wildlife