Rare flower appears in Ventnor thanks to lockdown measures

In an area that is usually mown each year, this wild flower has emerged. Ventnor Town council explain their plans for its conservation

Wild Clary in Ventnor - by Lesley Brown

In his latest weekly newsletter, Ventnor Town Council’s clerk, David Bartlett, reveals there’s been a proliferation of a very rare wild flower at Salisbury Gardens.

Wild Clary (aka salvia verbenaca) produces a purple flower that is very attractive to bees and other pollinators. According to the Wild Seed Website, it is often found in churchyards, because of the medieval practice of sowing it on graves. 

Carefully preserving scarce species
The VTC’s grounds maintenance team, John O’Conner, were informed and avoided strimming the area, “with a view to carefully preserving this scarce species”.

David Bartlett says,

“As the flowers die back, the seed will form ready for next year; the whole lifecycle of the wild clary will have completed and thereafter this area will be cut.”

Flower Fairy photo gallery
Lesley Brown, aka the Ventnor Flower Fairy, has kindly shared some photos of the clary when it was in flower.

Click on the images to see larger versions

Wild Clary in Ventnor - by Lesley Brown
Wild Clary in Ventnor - by Lesley Brown
Wild Clary in Ventnor - by Lesley Brown
Wild Clary in Ventnor - by Lesley Brown
Wild Clary in Ventnor - by Lesley Brown

Images: © Ventnor Flower Fairy

Monday, 29th June, 2020 1:40pm


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Filed under: Isle of Wight News, Top story, Ventnor

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6 Comments on "Rare flower appears in Ventnor thanks to lockdown measures"

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In August 2019 John O’Conner contractors destroyed a large amount of shrub and wildflowers at Salisbury gardens. Lets hope this reckless action does not reoccur in August this year.

Angela Hewitt

Contractors do what the council tells them to do

Eagle eye
It’s not just the ground contractors we have to worry about it’s the developers who like to concrete over everything. This flower is a perfect example of how overdevelopment is destroying the beauty of the island that attracts visitors. We are already seen as a suburb of Portsmouth and Southampton and it won’t be long before the Isle of Wight is no longer a holiday isle but… Read more »

Parts of it already are, judging by the number of new, large, mainland registered cars?

Mark L Francis

Cut that verge or Colin won’t be able to see over it.
I hate cutting stuff down – there is no such thing as weeds.


The contractors have also left the Viper’s Bugloss (Echium Vulgare) to self seed so there should be even more of these beautiful plants next year. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/vipers-bugloss