We know holidays, we know Cornwall

Flowers & Plants

The flowers and plants you will find in Cornwall vary depending on where you are in the county

On the wild and windy north coast, you are more likely to find the hardier species, whereas the more sheltered south coast allows more delicate plants to grow and thrive.

The plant life of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is as diverse as its animal life. From trees and flowering plants to mosses, ferns, seaweeds and lichens. Woodlands and hedgerows are covered with carpets of bluebells in late spring. In spring and summer you can see fields, clifftops, roadside verges and hedgerows filled with masses of colourful wild flowers including cowslips, thrift, campions and mallows. 

Many rare species of plants are found particularly in unique areas such as the Lizard Peninsula. Cornish Heath is more or less exclusive to the Lizard while Land Quillwort grows here and nowhere else in the British Isles. Yellow Centaury and Thyme Broomrape are more Lizard rarities.

Although mushrooms and toadstools occur in many seasons, the best time of the year, when you will see the greatest number of species, is in the autumn. Cornwall's woods are filled with many types of fungi, from the Orange Peel fungus to the creatively named Stinkhorns and Puff-balls.

Cornwall is the county that forms the tip of the southwestern peninsula of England; this area has a mild and warm climate regulated by the Gulf Stream. The mild climate allows rich plant cover, such as palm trees in the far south and west of the county and in the Isles of Scilly, due to sub-tropical conditions in the summer.

On the moorland and high ground areas the high elevation makes tree cover impossible because of the wind, so these areas are populated by shrubs and bushes such as Gorse and heather. Ferns, mosses, liverworts, lichens and fungi can all be found in the county. In the wettest areas of Bodmin Moor, sphagnum or bog moss can be found.

Cornwall is home to many rare flower species, especially at the southern end of the Lizard, due to its unique soil and geology. On the Lizard Peninsula, Cornish heath - the floral emblem of Cornwall - mesembryanthemums, butcher's broom, early meadow grass and a wide range of clovers including the lizard clover, brookweed and yellow wallpepper can be found. The wilder, more exposed north coast features maritime grassland, heathland and stunted woodland.

Cornish Palm

Plant Type: Trees

True Palm

Plant Type: Trees

Sessile Oak

Plant Type: Trees

Bluebell

Plant Type: Flowers

Cowslip

Plant Type: Flowers

Mesembryanthemums

Plant Type: Flowers

Thrift

Plant Type: Flowers

Campion

Plant Type: Flowers

Fucus Spiralis

Plant Type: Algae (Seaweed).

Kelp

Plant Type: Algae (Seaweed).

Ascophyllum Nodosum

Plant Type: Algae (Seaweed).

Cornish Heath

Plant Type: Shrubs.

Gorse

Plant Type: Shrubs.

Heather

Plant Type: Shrubs.

Fern

Plant Type: Vascular.

Orange Peel Fungus

Plant Type: Fungus.

Liverwort

Plant Type: Non-Vascular.

Sphagnum Moss

Plant Type: Moss.