It's cowslips against honeysuckle in the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower

The public can vote on 25 wildflowers up until the 5th of June

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The Independent Online

Household names such as the bluebell, the poppy and the snowdrop are vying with much rarer species like the Chickweed wintergreen and Pasqueflower in a competition to find the nation’s favourite wildflower.

Members of the Plantlife conservation charity have drawn up a list of 25 wildflowers which the public can vote on up until the 5th of June.

The shortlist also includes Honeysuckle, Cowslips, Harebells and Cornflowers and the winner will announced in mid-June. Plantlife’s Dr Trevor Dines says he is pleased with the shortlist, which includes some pleasantly surprising choices. Nestling in among obvious country icons – such as the dog rose for England and the wild daffodil for Wales, and popular stalwarts like the primrose and the foxglove – are some real rarities, he says. “Who would have thought Chickweed-wintergreen, a rare plant of the woods in Scotland and northern England, would have made the list? I’ve only seen it once, although that was enough to confirm its undeniable beauty,” he said.

 

Flowers with five or six white, star-shaped petals get a good showing overall – accounting for three of the shortlisted contenders he says. They include the Grass of Parnassus and the Wood anemone, as well as the chickweed-wintergreen.

“There are powerful symbols too – we cherish poppies to remember our fallen soldiers – while legend has it that Pasqueflowers grow on the graves of Viking warriors, springing up from the blood,” Dr Dines added.

The Bluebell is the front-runner, followed by the Primrose, the Cowslipp and the Harebell, based on the results of the Plantlife member’s vote that created the shortlist – although the charity recognises that the public may have different preferences.

The public can cast their votes at www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflowervote

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