Twinflower relocation success
This year we have reintroduced twinflower to our stunning Ledmore and Migdale Wood in the north Highlands.
Twinflower is a beautiful and delicate wild plant that’s in trouble. It has two pink bell-like flowers on a slender stem and is is one of our smallest native flowers.
Twinflower is confined to Scotland. The clearance of native woodlands before the 1930s resulted in severe losses of this little flower. Continued habitat destruction and changes in woodland management have now reduced this plant to a handful of about 50 unrelated sites. It grows mainly in the native, open, pine woods, particularly in the Cairngorms, and is an Arctic-Alpine plant that is a relic of the Ice Age.
The isolation of the remaining sites leads to poor seed production and thus contributes to its continued decline. Other threats are overgrazing by deer or sheep, mechanical harvesting of timber, and the deliberate thickening of forests leading to excess shade.
All our translocated patches are establishing well, with one patch doing exceptionally well, with some growth over one metre. It was expected that some of these may flower in their first year, depending on the health of the parent plant. Only one has flowered, and it was fantastic to see this.
Site Manager – North of Scotland