Skip to main content

Rare British Flowers - The Spring Gentian


What Is A Spring Gentian?

You might never have heard of a Spring Gentian, and you are probably not alone. This wild flower, native to the UK, is one of the least prolific flowers that you will see on a forest walk. It's Latin name is Gentiana Verna Gentians, and it is generally found at higher altitudes.


Where In The UK Can I Find It?


Although variations of the Gentian can be found in various locations throughout Europe, in the UK the flower can generally only be found in one of two locations: Teesdale, and Western Ireland.


Teesdale in the UK



The Gentian generally prefers Chalky soils, which further reduces it's ability to become a prolific species. As noted, it's rare appearance in the United Kingdom is a feature that also characterises the flower throughout Europe, so much so that the flower has been designated as an 'Endangered Species'.


History And Folklore


 The flower was first discovered in the UK by John Harriman, and now serves as the county flower of Durham, in England's north.

Holly Somerville's drawing of the flower has since become the logo for the botany department in Trinity College Dublin, and has also appeared on a British stamp issued in 1964.


As with most things that are rare, the reputation of the flower has led to various superstitions being formed regarding it. For instance, bringing the flower into a house would risk the offending individual running the risk of being struck by lightning! Also, death, the ultimate penalty was said to follow anyone who picked the flower. However, the threat of the death penalty for picking the flower has not increased it's abundance, although it could arguably be said that it may have stopped it's extinction!

The Takeaway

It is unlikely that you will ever see a Gentian in the UK, unless you visit Teeside or Western Ireland. Even then, it would require a foreknowledge of what you are looking for in order to identify it.

Should you be planning a trip, familiarize yourself with this rare flower, you could be one of the relatively few British folk who have set eyes upon it.


Popular posts from this blog

Rare Collectors Items - The Morgan Dollar

  The Morgan(Silver) Dollar I have been in love with the Morgan Dollar for many years. Frankly, for me, it is one of the more collectible coins that I have treasured. It is, a brand of Silver coin that ranks along with the 'Canadian Maple' in terms of it's esteemed value. A Brief History Of The Morgan Dollar The Morgan Dollar was minted from 1878 to 1904. However, it was again commissioned in 1921, which year now forms the most common Morgan Dollars that you will likely find in a collection. After 1921, the mantle of popular Silver Dollar arguably went to the Peace Dollar. However, whilst also iconic, the Peace Dollar in my estimation, is not as valuable a brand as it's older cousin. Frankly, the 2 coins, whilst both consisting, to a large degree, of Silver, represent two completely different periods of United States history. And, as such, will evoke different feelings of worth in the minds of different collectors, depending on their familiarity, and affection for stag

Rare British Cars - The Ford Sierra

  What Is Rare About The Ford Sierra? Ford has always mass produced cars that have been familiar sites on roads throughout the World. The Sierra is no different. Reportedly, the total production between 1982 and 1993 is 3,470,524. This probably means that if you bought into Ford advertising in this period, that you may well have owned one! As with all mass produced cars, they tend to not keep up with the latest innovations, especially, when the latest 'new' release can trumpet these.So, it is no surprise that by 2005, there were only 67,817 left. However, in recent years the rate of disappearance from British roads has accelerated, such that the latest figures indicate that well under 2425 remain taxed for use on British Roads. Whilst the Sierra may not be a 'classic car' in the full sense of the term, it's scarcity will surely increase it's collectors value..and all the more so as the numbers continue to fall. Famous Owners As you can imagine, mass produced car