Scilly has some very distinctive plants that are not found anywhere else in Britain, such as the Dwarf pansy and Orange birdsfoot. Mixed in with the native plants are exotics that thrive in Scilly's warm climate.
Thrift, Joanna King
Trees and shrubs
The trees in Scilly are often covered in lichens. Elms thrive as have so far escaped Dutch elm disease.
Hawthorn and lichen, Julie Love
Scilly has some very special ferns from the grand Royal fern to the diminutive Lesser and Least Adders tongue ferns.
Ophioglossum, David Mawer
Fungi can be found in many different habitats but very little is known about the fungi of the Isles of Scilly.
Toad stool, David Mawer
Mosses, liverworts and lichens
Scilly's clean moist air is ideal for lichens, that grow in a variety of places including rocks and trees.
Gilt-edge and ciliate strap lichen, David Mawer
Scilly has a special mix of native and non-native plants that flourish in the warm climate and give an exotic flavour to the scenery but in some cases threaten native habitats.
With wild spaces and cultivated fields the plant life of Scilly is incredibly interesting. Some plants are found nowhere else in Britain, whilst others are rare on the mainland but common in Scilly. Dutch elm disease did not reach the Islands, and Elm groves can be found. The plants that are non-native have been introduced from abroad or have escaped from cultivation and flourish in the warm climate.
The poor acidic soil and strength of the wind means on Scilly's heathalnds only the small can flourish and some of the rarest plants are also the tiniest such as the Least and Lesser Adders tongue ferns, Dwarf pansy and Orange birdsfoot.