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    Irish Wildflowers By Month

    Author: Dawn Rainbolt, PR Manager
    More by Dawn

    Irish Wildflower Bouquets

    Ireland’s lush green landscapes and mild climate nurture a stunning array of wildflowers, each blooming in its own season. With new blooms appearing each month, nature lovers can plan their trips to Ireland around these vibrant displays, ensuring a fresh and exciting experience with every visit. Discover the Emerald Isle’s natural flora throughout the year alongside the changing seasons and vibrant landscapes. Below, have a look at our month-by-month guide to some of the most stunning natural bouquets of wildflowers found in Ireland. Each month features a few key flowers but of course there are many other beautiful blooms to marvel over each month.

    January: Snowdrops

    Season: January – March
    Scientific name: Galanthus nivalis
    Where: Find them in areas of light shade, such as under deciduous trees or shrubs

    Each year begins with the delicate snowdrops, often seen peeking through the frost. Though early bloomers, we are cheating a bit here, as it’s more common to spot snowdrop blooms in February. No matter when they arrive, snowdrops symbolise hope and are a common sight in woodlands and along hedgerows.

    February: Daffodils

    Season: February – March
    Scientific name: Narcissus
    Where: Hedgerows, roadsides, gardens


    It’s true that you won’t spot many naturally occurring daffodils in Ireland. Don’t let that stop you, though; daffodils are one of the first blooms to dot the Irish landscapes, making it a popular choice with gardeners. You’ll spot them lining hedgerows, gardens, and roads throughout the country. Their dancing yellow petals are a welcome spot of colour in an otherwise grey wintery landscape. When the daffodils arrive, you know spring is on its way – which makes sense as daffodils arrive in February, the start of spring on the Gaelic Celtic calendar (learn more on our St Brigid’s Day blog here).

    Lesser Celandine

    Another yellow February bloom is the Lesser Celandine. With its narrow, highlighter-yellow petals, lesser celandine is a cheerful sign that spring is approaching. Look for these low-growing plants in damp, shaded areas such as woodland areas or thick hedgerows. Lesser celandines can bloom as early as end of January through May, but February is the best time to enjoy them as they are a sure sign that spring is on its way.

    March: Primrose

    Primrose in spring.

    Primrose in spring.

    Season: March-May
    Scientific name: Primula vulgaris
    Where: Meadows, fields, grassy banks

    Primroses begin to add a dot of pale yellow to the March landscape. These small, round flowers are often found in meadows and along grassy banks. The primrose’s Latin name translates to “first flower” and though it’s not the season’s first (as evidenced above!), primroses are another early wildflower of the year. Delicate pale round petals prove to the intrepid hiker that spring is indeed underway.

    April: Bluebell | Wild Garlic | Sea Pink

    Season: April – May | April – July
    Scientific Name: Hyacinthoides non-scripta | Armeria maritima
    Where: Broadleaf woodlands | Coastal regions


    April is famous for the brilliant, violent-tinted bluebell carpets that flood Ireland’s ancient woodlands. The older the forest, the richer and more impressive the patches of bluebells, and truly, these breathtakingly beautiful blue-purple seas are a sight to see. Bluebells thrive in shaded areas with rich, moist soil but prefer deciduous and broadleaf forests over pines.

    Wild Garlic

    A flower that often appears alongside bluebells is wild garlic. With a strong, rich odour and distinctive, easy-to-spot thin leaves combined with clusters of tiny white blooms, wild garlic is as pretty as they are strong-smelling! You’ll often see seas of white mixed in with seas of blue-violet on a backdrop of emerald green. A portrait of a landscape you’ll never forget!

    Irish Sea Pink

    If you’re spending your April on the coast rather than in the forests, another spectacular flower awaits: the Irish Sea pink. Carpeting coastlines, these low-spreading plants explode into bursts of pink. Grouped closely together and blooming in tight balls of petals, the Irish Sea pink is a vibrant site for the seashore.

    May: Cowslip | Meadow Buttercups


    Season: April – October
    Scientific name: Primula veris | Ranunculus acris
    Where: Pastures, Meadows


    Cowslips are a cheerful sight in May, with their clusters of small, butter-yellow, bell-shaped flowers cupped in light green leaves. Cowslips prefer open fields and meadows. Absent for some time from Ireland’s wildflower bouquet due to agriculture, the native cowslip has seen a recent resurgence largely thanks to initiatives like wildflower meadows, no-mow May, reduced agriculture, and other similar concepts.


    Another brilliant May wildflower is the simple buttercup. These tiny yellow flowers grow in large swathes across damp grasslands and empty fields. When they grow in abundance, they can be quite impressive.

    June: Foxglove | Thistle

    Foxgloves in the Wicklow Mountains.

    Foxgloves in the Wicklow Mountains.

    Season: June-August
    Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea | Cirsium dissectum
    Where: Woodlands, moors, low mountains | Meadows, hedgerows


    With their tall, dancing spikes adorned with purple, bell-shaped flowers, foxgloves are unique to any other flowers on this list. A highlight of early summer is when you start seeing foxgloves on your hikes in Ireland; you know that summer is well underway. They often grow in woodland clearings and along roadsides.

    A lesser-known fact about foxgloves is that they are actually poisonous, with poison found in the flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the foxglove plant. Poisoning from digitalis is rare though, and on the flip side, digitalis is also used as medicine to treat certain heart conditions.

    Meadow Thistle

    Another popular June wildflower is the meadow thistle, which, true to its name, grows predominantly in meadows. A spiky purple bloom atop a high, bristly stalk, you’ll often spot thistles dancing in the wind. While they look beautiful from a distance, touch them with caution. Beloved by bees, thistles are a prominent part of the popular “no mow” campaigns pushing to let Ireland’s hedgerows, roadsides and traffic circles go wild.

    July: Meadowsweet | Orchids


    The Spotted Orchid

    Season: July – September |
    Scientific name: Filipendula ulmaria | Gymnadenia conopsea
    Where: Meadows, marshy land, and near streams or rivers | Burren National Park


    July brings the sweet scent of meadowsweet with its fluffy, soft clusters of creamy-white flowers. These fragrant blossoms are commonly found in damp meadows and along stream banks. Another nice thing about meadowsweet being in bloom is its use as a botanical. Used in certain gins (such as the delicious Gunpowder gin from Drumshambo in Co Leitrim) as a key ingredient, meadowsweet is as beautiful as it is delicious.

    Orchids (Common Fragrant Orchid & others)

    Another flora to spot in July is the Common Fragrant Orchid, most often appearing amongst the craggy crevices of the Burren. The common fragrant orchid blooms from June to July and is a slightly conical form adorned with tiny pink petals (although variations of mauve to white exist, too). This is just one of the many species of orchid found in the Burren, read more about them here.

    August: Heather | Wild Angelica


    Heather covered hills in Mayo.

    Season: July – October | July – September
    Scientific name: Calluna vulgaris | Angelica sylvestris
    Where: Acidic soil i.e. bogs and moors, and hillsides | Damp and marshy habitats


    Blanketing Ireland’s rougher terrain in a vibrant purple, heather is one of Ireland’s iconic wildflowers and plants. When viewed from afar, the hills of Ireland seem to stretch into carpets of purple. Up close, heather is associated with off-the-beaten path hiking and walking.

    Low scrub bushes growing in large swathes, heather plants love acidic and boggy soil. Heather blossoms purple from July onwards, and even once the blooms fade from the hills, they are replaced with a dusky golden colour that is equally as majestic.

    Wild Angelica

    Alternatively, look out for the clusters of tiny white or pinkish blooms of Wild Angelica, particularly in damp habitats like marshes and riversides. While you might spot them from July to September, their lovely swathes of white make a pretty contrast to August’s purple heather.

    September: Devil’s-bit Scabious | Fireweed

    Fireweed on the Causeway Coast.

    Season: June – October | June – September
    Scientific name: Succisa pratensis | Chamaenerion angustifolium
    Where: Marshes, pastures, hedgerows | Edges of woodlands, bogs, abandoned roads

    Devil’s-bit Scabious

    September marks the end of the main wildflower season, with Devil’s-bit Scabious offering some of the final splashes of colour to the landscape in early autumn. These flowers are often seen in meadows and on grassy verges.


    Another wildflower displaying its swathe of colour on the Irish landscape is the rosebay willowherb, more commonly known as fireweed. A little like the foxglove, look out of tall stems adorned with hot pink flowers, though these aren’t bell-shaped but rather tall stalks lined with rows of pink buds.

    October: Common Knapweed

    Thistles are often confused with knapweed.

    Season: July – October
    Scientific name: Centaurea nigra
    Where: Fields, meadows

    Common Knapweed

    With its final floral display in early October, the common knapweed – sometimes confused with a thistle – has stalks of single purple flowers that are the favourite of bees and butterflies. Dancing in the wind on thick stalks, the knapweed’s narrow, spiky violet petals grow in abundance across the Emerald Isle.

    It thrives in meadows, grasslands, and roadside verges, blooming later than most wildflowers into the autumn.

    Buttercups flower most of the year, too, finishing up in October, so keep your eyes open for these small, delicate, yet stunning Irish wildflowers.

    November: Gorse

    Yellow gorse bushes.

    Season: Year-round
    Scientific name: Ulex europaeus
    Where: Hills, roadsides, field boundaries, rough terrain, poor soil

    A little bit of cheat, the brilliant yellow flowers on gorse bushes are generally visible year round. In fact, January – May might be a better time to spot them. But November can be a bit of a dark month, and with many plants having already shed their petals, the occasional flowering gorse bush you spot will be a welcome site!

    So, while you’ll probably see the thin yellow petals of the otherwise thick, skinny gorse bushes any month you visit, November will be the most appreciated.

    Gorse bushes have been historically planted to mark boundaries. Huge, fast-growing, and spiky, there’s no way to easily get through a gorse bush. Farmers often used them as a natural boundary fence, particularly in hard-to-reach fields.

    December: Winter Heliotrope

    Winter Heliotrope (Credit Wiki Commons).

    Season: November-March
    Scientific name: Petasites pyrenaicus
    Where: Damp soil, shady spots, roadsides, cultivated soil

    Winter heliotrope is a fragrant, pale pink flower that blooms in the heart of winter. It’s one of Ireland’s most widespread winter blooms and is a welcome breath of life and fragrance in mid-winter. Often found along roadsides and riverbanks, it brightens up the colder months.

    Tall, thick stalks up to 25 cm high are topped with miniature pink and white bouquets of narrow petals. While not a native species, its use in winter gardens made it popular and has since spread beyond garden walls.


    Spring weather is mild, but the days are lengthening and consistently drier. The landscape is buzzing with life and colour, with flowers blooming and bustling wildlife.

    Find out more


    Summer promises long days, pleasant temperatures, and festivals galore. The countryside transitions from vibrant green to breath-taking purple as the heather blooms.

    Find out more


    Autumn is a time of colourful landscapes and glowing skies. Witness some of Ireland’s most beautiful autumn sunsets and taste flavours unique to our autumn months.

    Find out more


    If the conditions are right, marvel at the snow-dusted landscapes during Ireland’s winters. Crunchy snow underfoot, roaring fires in the cosy pubs, and beautiful starry skies.

    Find out more

    Find Irish Wildflowers

    Meet the Author: Dawn Rainbolt

    American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture and sweeping landscapes of Ireland. Armed with a Masters Degree in Tourism Marketing and a love of writing and photography, she is Wilderness Ireland's Marketing Executive since 2017.

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