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During my weekly walks in local ancient woodland, I’ve been monitoring the development of this plant, watching it arise from the damp soil, waiting for its leaves to grow and its flower to emerge … and yesterday the first of the blooms were finally open.

210409 herb-paris (1)

This is Herb-paris (Paris quadrifolia), and I think you can see the reason I have been so keen to see these stunning flowers again.

210409 herb-paris (2)

Their structure is remarkable, a combination that Richard Mabey describes thus in Flora Britannica: ‘a star of four very narrow yellow-green petals and four wider sepals, topped by a crown of eight golden stamens, and later a single shining black berry – the “devil-in-the-bush” that was one of the plant’s obsolete names’.

210409 herb-paris (3)

The plants are looking particularly abundant this year and many flowers have yet to open so I will definitely be returning to feast my eyes on these beauties many times before they disappear for another year.