BBC Wildlife Magazine

Winter cheer


‘Kissing is out of fashion when gorse is out of bloom,’ the old saying goes. It wryly refers to the fact that gorse is one of the few plants in flower all year, adding a welcome golden glow to frosty heaths and commons. The petals are edible – though best sprinkled on your salad in April or May, the peak flowering season – and, in warm sunshine, they release a delicious coconut or almond fragrance. Being evergreen, gorse offers valuable winter shelter to spiders and other invertebra­tes, as well as hibernatin­g reptiles.

FIND OUT MORE Tips on responsibl­e foraging: wildplantg­

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