Our Natural Heritage: An Amersham Flower to find in Spring

Marieke Bosman, from Wild Amersham, continues her writing about some of the wildflowers growing in and around Amersham along with their historical heritage. Her first article was about three winter wildflowers – one for each month. For the second article published in the Society’s May 2024 Newsletter she chose just one, but very special plant flowering in spring.


Wildflowers are a “form of permanent geography – markers not just of landscapes, but of their autobiographies”
Richard Mabey, Flora Britannica.

Some years ago, as I made my way to New Amersham through Rectory Wood, my eye was drawn to some large, pale lilac flowers on long stems gently moving in the breeze. I was ready for some exotic garden escapee but on closer inspection learned that these beautiful woodland plants were in fact Coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera). Coralroot is one of the last plants that made the crossing from the Continent before the North Sea inundated the passage. Wild colonies of this plant only occur in two areas in the UK: the wet woods of the Weald and the calcareous beech woods of the Chilterns. This makes it Coralroot rare and very local, and it is not surprising that it appears in the Amersham town crest. Part of the Brassicacea family, Coralroot spreads through its roots and by dispersion of the tiny brown bulbils that appear on its stem. Coralroot flowers from April to June – do go and let yourself be enchanted by this Amersham flower.

Coralroot. Photo by Marieke Bosman
Coralroot. Photo by Marieke Bosman

Marieke Bosman
Wild Amersham @ Sustainable Amersham

May 2024 Newsletter