Close up of Clematis Vitalba

Map of the Down

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Wildflowers and other flowering plants

Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the many flowers and shrubs to be found growing at Magog Down. Most of these articles include lovely descriptions and history about the plants, written for us over the years by plant pathologist David Yarham. Some articles have been updated recently with new photos of the plants thriving thanks to our Rangers' careful management.

We welcome visitors' photos to help enrich our website, so if you have any you'd like to submit, do send them along to photos 'at' Perhaps you've spotted a wildflower that is not yet featured here?

Flowers and Shrubs at Magog Down prev  :  next

White Helleborine - Cephalanthera damasonium

whitehelleborine_narrow_315The White Helleborine is an orchid, and listed as vulnerable in conservation status, in that it faces a high risk of extinction in the medium term future (mainly because of habitat loss). It favours beech woodland on a lime soil such as chalk, and it is very slow growing. It usually self-pollinates, so can grow in deep shade where there are few insect pollinators. It takes at least eight years to grow from seed and then another two to three years after that to flower.

In late May you will find White Helleborine in flower in the woods at Magog Down. Two volunteer sessions in 2018 removing invasive field maple seedlings in Colin’s Wood has ensured a lovely show of helleborines, and they are spread further up throughout this wood, often right next to the paths. We have found White Helleborines in all the woods on the Magog Down in 2019, which is brilliant news for this vulnerable species, and shows the value of the style of management we use - something that would not be possible without the dedicated time and effort from our Volunteer Working Party friends.

Claire Beale
May 2019


See also...

Report of the visit from Cambridge Natural History Society in August 2017

News about a visit by the local branch of Butterfly Conservation charity taking place in August 2016

News about the very special area of Colin's Bank, published in February 2015

Pasque Flower

One of our Friends sent us this beautiful picture of some Pasque Flowers taken in amongst the Cowslips in May 2016.pasqueflower_jb_may2016_crop_453

Photo by Jill Butler