Winter Heliotrope: vanilla ices | Nature Notes

I can never decide whether the appearance of winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) in early January is a sign that spring is on its way or that winter is definitely with us! Sadly, it is probably the latter and we still have a month or two to wait for true signs of spring.
Winter heliotrope was brought over from the Mediterranean in Victorian times and it subsequently 'escaped' and has become a naturalised wild flower. It is interesting that despite the colder climate here it still flowers at the same time as it would have done in its home Mediterranean region. It was introduced into gardens,



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