Snowdon Lily

Gagea serotina (formerly Lloydia serotina)

The Snowdon Lily is one of the rarest plants and therefore most endangered plants in the UK. This Alpine plant is a relic from the ice age and is only found in the most inhospitable areas of Snowdonia.

Originally know as spiderwort or in Welsh, brwynddail y mynydd, rush-leaves of the mountain. The Snowdon Lily grows to 10-12cm high, as its Welsh name suggests it has rush like leaves, the flowers are white, veined, cup-shaped with six petals and a yellow/green centre. It grows on north facing inaccessible ledges and from the tiniest cracks in the rock out of reach from grazing animals. The lily flowers from late May to early July. It has evolved to self pollinate as even in the summer months weather conditions can be very harsh causing a lack of pollinating insects.

I feel very privileged to have seen the Snowdon Lily growing on Snowdon. The Tuesday walking group which I belong spent 3 years trying to find the Snowdon Lily, they followed many false leads to some very remote places before getting a reliable tip off. I felt a bit of a gatecrasher in joining them on their successful walk as I had not been part of the red herring excursions. We were all sworn to secrecy not to reveal the location as it is not far from one of the main walking paths on Snowdon. 

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