Alpine catchfly Lychnis alpina

Status Amber - Vulnerable and Near-Threatened
Best Time to See June, July, August
Colour Purple
Habitat Upland

A small but hardy plant that produces tufty pink fragrant flowers in spring. Its leaves are blue-green and grass-like.

Distribution

A single, remote hill-top in Angus boasts almost the whole British population of this pretty alpine (the only other tiny colony is in the Lake District).

Habitat

Rocky places such as outcrops, scree slopes, gravel banks beside rivers, sea cliffs, sand banks and nutrient-poor, stony areas. In general it thrives where other plants less tolerant of high concentrations of copper and heavy metals in the soil do not.

Best time to see

Flowers from June to August.

Did you know?

Alpine catchfly tends to favour rocks with a high heavy metal content and has been used by prospective miners to indicate fresh ore deposits. Because of its unusual ability to grow in soils with heavy amounts of copper, Alpine catchfly is used in geobotanical prospecting as a copper content indicator. It is the County flower of Angus/Forfarshire. The name "catchfly" derives from its sticky stems.