Signs of Spring: Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans)

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A welcome bit of colour found at Pendennis Point, Falmouth in Cornwall from a few flowering plants: Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans), Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) and Red Campion (Silene dioica).

Insight: Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) flowers smell of vanilla or, some say, liquorice. The flowers and leaves follow the sun during the day (heliotropic). Only male plants are found in Britain.

According to Nicholas Culpeper, Violets “ease pains in the head caused through want of sleep”.

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