Scientific name: Scilla autumnalis
Status: Nationally scarce
Flowering time: July- September
Description: Dense spikes of pale mauve flowers. Bulbous perennial.
Social history: In 1831, Mrs Glennie (the wife of Brunel’s assistant) warned him that the building work for the Clifton Suspension Bridge would destroy a colony of this rare plant, so Brunel had turfs containing the bulbs dug up and replaced further along the Gorge. It’s the first record of someone moving or translocating a plant for conservation reasons.
Taxonomy: Asparagaceae (or asparagus) family.
Global and national distribution: Restricted to southern England. It is found in southern and western Europe, northwest Africa and Asia to Iran.
Threats: Shading out by taller vegetation. It requires an open sunny site.
Photographs: ©Denice Stout, ©Phil Jearey.