Flowers Native to Scotland

Written by shawna kennedy
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Flowers Native to Scotland
To many, heather is synonymous with Scotland. (heather 5 image by joanna wnuk from

Scotland spreads across the northern third of the island of Great Britain, sharing its southern border with England. Scotland's climate is considered oceanic, according to Scotland's ocean is warmed by currents from the Caribbean and the country enjoys abundant rainfall, although eastern Scotland tends to be drier than the rest of the country. Scotland's climate supports varied and colourful native plants.


Primroses are one of the first signs of spring, blooming from March to May. These perennials grow throughout Scotland in wooded areas or along hedge banks, where they can grow in partial shade and moist but well-drained soil. Many gardens in Scotland also grow primrose. These plants grow to 12 inches high with thick green leaves and dainty flowers.

Flowers Native to Scotland
The primrose prefers shade. (primrose image by Studio Pookini from


Common along the moors and in the highlands, heather’s stalks of purple, bell-like flowers bloom from August into September. Heather is a low-growing bushy shrub with an average size of 20 inches tall and 36 inches wide. It is an important plant in Scotland’s history and was once used to thatch roofs or cover the floor. Its branches could clean the house as a broom or be woven together and used as a fence. Heather flowers were used to flavour drinks such as mead or put in herbal remedies to treat coughs.

Flowers Native to Scotland
Heather carpets the Scottish highlands. (heather moors image by MichMac from

Wild Rose

'Rosa canina' and 'R. rubiginosa' are two species of wild rose that grow naturally in the lowlands of Scotland, usually along the hedgerows and even in lightly wooded areas, according to Scotland’s Native Trees and Shrubs. These roses bloom in May and June, growing as shrubs, and have been domesticated for use in the home garden. In the wild, birds and other animals feed on the rose hips, which are produced in the fall.

Flowers Native to Scotland
Wild roses fill the early summer air with fragrance. (wild rose image by Olga Shelego from


The thistle has been a symbol of Scotland for more than 500 years. According to legend, when a roving band of Vikings attempted to attack a sleeping group of Scottish warriors, one of the Vikings stepped on a thistle and woke them, according to Visit Scotland. The thistle is a biennial plant, meaning it lives for two years. This plant grows all over Scotland and can reach up to 8 feet tall with stems as wide as 4 inches in diameter. The leaves are greyish-green and the globe-shaped, purple flowers bloom in midsummer. These flowers have sharp, needle-like bracts at the base of the flower. Spines also cover the stems of this plant.

Flowers Native to Scotland
The thistle grows wild throughout Scotland. (thistle image by Henryk Olszewski from

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