In many parts of West Donegal where intensive farming has never been carried out, where artificial fertilizers and pesticides have never been used, you will find a profusion of relatively rare wild flowers, which are almost gone from the Irish and European countryside. Here on Cruit Island a client who stayed at Donegal Thatched Cottages a few years ago documented over 200 such species within walking distance of the cottages.
Apart from the natural beauty of such flowers there is a tremendous satisfaction in seeking out and identifying each one for yourself, so I suggest you bring a book on Irish wild flowers with you and see how many species you yourself can identify. May, June, July are the best months but you will find flowering plants all year round. Below I list a few of the best ones just to get you started.
Primroses: Any time from April through to July you will see hundreds of bunches of this sweet- scented yellow flower. Protected species.
Orchids : There are many different types of wild orchids growing all over Cruit Island. Visible June, July, August Protected species.
Sea Pinks: Located right out on craggy rocks at the water’s edge you will find sea pinks blossoming everywhere on Cruit. April to September.
Purple Loosestrife: A blaze of purple, you will find these mostly in the drains and wetter parts. June to September.
Marsh Marigolds: This deep yellow flower is also found in the drains and wetter places. June to September.
Harebell : This delicate, violet coloured flower grows singly and in small clusters on the grassy banks. June to September.
Honeysuckle : This sweet scented flowering vine is found on the winding side roads of Cruit. April to September.
Birdsfoot : This small multi-coloured flower is found anywhere the grass is short enough to allow it bloom. Mostly yellows and reds. June to September.
Cowslip : Rather like a clover, cowslip is found all over Cruit Island. April to September.