The conservation and heritage charity for the
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Mountain avens

Latin name: Dryas octopetala mountain avens

Height: 3 - 10cm in flower

When: Flowers May - July

Where: Mountains, particularly on limestone, for example Ben Lui and Ben Lawers

You'll find mountain avens tucked high up on the rocky outcrops of limestone hills like Ben Lui. As its name suggests the flowers of this distant relative of the rose have a ruff of eight delicate white petals surrounding a spiky yolk-yellow centre.

Its tiny, oak-shaped leaves are actually evergreen, and despite their glossy green uppers are covered with downy white hairs underneath - both adaptations designed to help it withstand the winter ice and snow.

Late in the summer the flowers are followed by spiralling fluffy white seedheads, reminiscent of a tidy version of old man's beard.

Any natural place contains an infinite reservoir of information, and therefore the potential for inexhaustible new discoveries.

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods