Irish Wildflowers in Woodlands

Ireland has a very small land percentage as woodland, approximately 1.5% as deciduous woods and 5% as forestry plantations of conifers. Little remains of the native woodland that once covered the land, comprised of oak, alder, ash, birch, hazel, yew and scots pine. Parts of the Killarney woods, Co.Kerry, are the only place where tree cover has been continuous since the last Ice Age.

To grow and flower plants require light which is why many plants found in deciduous woodland flower early in the year, before the leaves open above them and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. Conifer plantations provide a very poor plant habitat as their evergreen leaves cast dense shade all year round, blocking the light needed for photosynthesis. Below are some wildflowers often found growing in and near the edges of woodland in Ireland. Please hover over images for the Common and Irish name and click for more photographs, plant details and distribution maps. Lichens found on trees and in undisturbed woodland can be seen here (links open in new window).

anemone,wood (lus na gaoithe) angelica,wild (bliúcán) avens,water (machall uisce) avens,wood (machall coille) bedstraw,hedge (rú fáil) bilberry (fraochán) blackthorn (draighean) blackthorn (draighean) bluebell (coinnle corra) brambles (dris) buckthorn,alder (draighean fearna) bugle (ghlasair choille) campion,red (coireán coilleach) celandine,lesser (grán arcáin) cow-wheat (lus an tsagairt) crab-apple (crann fia-úll) creeping jenny (lysimachia nummularia) dogwood (conbhaiscne) elder (trom) enchanters-nightshade (fuinseagal) foxglove (lus mór) golden-saxifrage,opposite-leaved (glóris) ground elder (lus an easpaig) ground ivy (athair lusa) guelder-rose (coar chon) hawthorn (scaech gheal) helleborine,narrow-leaved (cuaichín caol) herb robert (ruithéal rí) hogweed (feabhrán) holly (cuileann) honeysuckle (táthfhéithleann) iris,stinking (glóiriam) ivy (eidheán) lords-and-ladies (chluas chaoin) lords-and-ladies (chluas chaoin) nightshade,woody (fuath gorm) orchid,birds-nest (magairlín neide éin) orchid,common spotted (naucht bhallach) orchid,early purple (magairlín meidhreach) orchid,greater butterfly (magairlín mór an fhéileacáin) orchid,lesser butterfly (magairlín beag an fhéileacáin) parsley,cow (pheirsil bhó) parsley,upright hedge (fionnas fáil) pennywort,wall (carnán caisil) periwinkle,greater (an fincín mor) periwinkle,lesser pignut (cúlarán) pimpernel,yellow (lus cholm cille) primrose (sabhaircín) privet (pribhéad) ramsons (creamh) raspberry (sú craobh) rhododendron (róslabhras) rose,dog (feirdhris) rose,field (rós léana) sage,wood (sáiste cnoic) sandwort,three-nerved (gaineamhlus féitheach) sanicle (bodán cuille) saxifrage,kidney (mórán giobach) selfheal (duán ceannchosach) speedwell,ivy-leaved (lus cré eidhneach) speedwell,wood (lus cre coille) spindle (feoras) spurge,caper st.johns-wort,slender (beathnua baineann) st.johns-wort,trailing (beathnua sraoilleach) st.patricks cabbage (cabáiste an mhada rua) stitchwort,bog (tursainín mhóna) stitchwort,greater (tursainín mhór) stitchwort,lesser (tursainín) strawberry,barren (sú talún bréige) strawberry,wild (sú talún fhiáin) three-cornered garlic (creamh garraí) toothwort (slánú fiacal) travellers-joy (gabhrán) tutsan (meas torc allta) twayblade,common (dédhuilleog) twayblade,lesser (dédhuilleog bheag) vetch,bush (peasair fhiáin) vetch,tufted (fiseánach thiubh) violet,common dog-violet (fanaigse) violet,early dog-violet (sailchuach luath) violet,marsh (sailchuach chorraigh) violet,sweet (sailchuach chumhra) winter heliotrope (plúr na gréinne) woodruff,sweet (lus moiles) wood sorrel (seamsóg) woundwort,hedge (créachtlus)

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