Rare Radnor lily spotted at Stanner Rocks quarry

The Radnor Lily (small yellow flowers) Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The rare Radnor Lily is also known as the Early Star of Bethlehem

A rare 3in-tall lily which grows on one hillside in the UK has been spotted.

The Radnor lily was spotted this month at the Stanner Rocks Nature Reserve, near Radnor in Powys.

It only blooms on an old quarry face in winter and naturalist Rhys Jenkins, who works on the site, said only a specialised plants could survive there.

It is estimated more than 1,000 plants are at the nature reserve but fewer than 1% of them flower.

"The site is really special because of the geology," said Mr Jenkins.

"These are some of the oldest rocks in Wales which were forced up through the Church Stretton fault.

"The rocks at the reserve are incredibly hard wearing meaning that the soils produced are quite thin and prone to desiccation.

"This means only quite a specialised plant community can survive here."

The flower, also native to southern Europe, is officially named Gagea bohemica and is also known as the Early Star of Bethlehem.

Many of the flowers at the reserve are covered with cages to stop animals eating them.

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