H Home ☰ MENU
Picture of Plants found in Woodlands in South Devon

Plants found in Woodlands in South Devon

Return to plant life page

There are many small types of woodland in South Devon that support a variety of wildlife including a full range of plant life. There are many woods to be found in the South Hams including many which are in an area of natural beauty. These woods include many species including: Common Sorrel, Cow Parsley, Early Purple Orchid, Lords-and-Ladies, Cuckoo Flower, Spring Squill, Thrift,  Common Birds-Foot the Foil, Bramble, Brooklime, Cleavers, Herb Robert, Holly, Buttercup, Red Campion, Stinking Iris, Venus’ Looking Grass Woodruff, Broom, Blue bells, Daisy, Dog Violet, White Ramsons, Stitch Wort, Daffodils, Sweet Violet and Primroses. All of the above flowers are found mainly in spring. They all appear when the sun rises higher and the temperature increases. The best time to spot these flowers is in the Easter half term.

The Hotel front lawn hosts some of these flowers including hundreds of primroses all through spring. You can visit many of our local woods including Andrews Wood,West Alvington Woods, Tor Woods, Fir Wood, Collaton Wood and many more within the South Hams. Gentle walks are found through and around these woods so an easy walk on your spring holiday at the Cottage Hotel is easily capable. Some of the species you will find in our local woods are explained in more detail below:

Cuckoo Flower:

The cuckoo flower is a pink flower that is found in moist pastures and near streams. They are about 15-60cm tall and grow a hairless stem with leaves that are divided. The lowest leave is like a rosette. Its petals, range from white to dark lilac, but most commonly being pink. This flower has a fruit which contains the seed. When the plant is ready to disperse its seeds this fruit ejects the seed explosively. This plants flowers in the spring months, so the best time to see it is on you Easter break. This plant is called the cuckoo flower because it blooms in April and May when the cuckoo begins to sing. You may see this plant with foam on it. This foam comes from frog hoppers – a bug that is found in the same habitat as the cuckoo flower.


The flowers of this plant are contained within a broad spathe (a sheathing hood), with a projecting club like flower in the centre of the hood. This projectile is normally purple and is used to attract flies. Underneath the purple projectile are male and female clusters. They are separated and have hairs sticking out above each cluster. These hairs are backward facing so tarp any insects that travel to the bottom of the projectile (which is also called the spadix). Insects are attracted into the plant because it produces a slightly rotten smell and  Once fertilised the female flowers develop into poisonous red berries.

Spring Squill:

The spring squill is not a common flower but is a beautiful spotting. It has 3 sepals and 6 blue/lilac petals. This plant is very sensitive to light. All its leaves gather at the base of the plant and are grooved along the whole leave. One stem will have many stalked flowers. These stalks shorten in length the further you go up the stem. This plant is mainly found in very grassy patches. If spotted, its beauty will defiantly make a walk through a localSouth Devonwoods pleasurable.

Common Birds-Foot:

This plant will bring back fond memories from everyone’s childhood. This plants seeds are locked in pods that eventually break into single segmented seeds when ripe. Each flower stalk has many small light pink blossoms on it.