Gagea lutea   Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem









Everyone field botanist has a plant which proves elusive and Gagea lutea was the one for me. It flowers early, around March 10th so you have to be botanising in early Spring when the inclement weather is the norm. I was given as site reference in Cressbrookdale, Derbyshire but couldn't find the plant. I was told of another site nearer Matlock but could find no sign in successive years although I did find three superb specimens of Daphne mezereum in the nearby woods. I also failed to find it near some rocks where it was a "certainty".  Finally I visited a site nearer home in Cheshire where it grows in large numbers near a patch of snowdrops.  It isn't easy to get a decent photo because the sepals are green making a picture from above quite uninteresting - so this is a lying-on-your-belly-in-wet-grass shot.

Malpas, Cheshire, 14th March 2003

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Amended on January 26th 2005