24 June 2009

Veronica fruticans

Last July a group of us visited a glen in Central Scotland where we had seen large quantities of Purple Saxifrage in the spring. We hoped to find other alpines, as the Purple Saxifrage indicated that the soil would be right for them.

We found a wide variety of species, but I also discovered a small shrub that I didn't recognise and which had no flowers. Two botanists present agreed that it was almost certainly Veronica fruticans - a rare and beautiful alpine - so today we returned in the hope of finding it in flower.

The chances seemed quite low, as we were not sure when to expect it to flower, and had been warned that any wind or rain would be likely to blow off the petals.

To our delight, and probably thanks to a week of fine weather, we found a whole lot of plants flowering profusely.

We hope to return to this glen in the next few weeks to find other alpines.

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