On the other hand, there are some plants that seem to linger on and continue to produce flowers much longer than expected, even after a long season of production. While I was out on a particular chase the other day (more of that later), I spotted Meadow Buttercup:
The main reason for my trip was to see if any early specimens of Lesser Celandine were in flower. There is one location where I regularly find flowering specimens months ahead of the normal schedule. I cannot fathom why this location should produce unseasonal flowers: it's at a reasonably high altitude (I live in the highest town in Ireland) and although it's a bit sheltered by overhanging Ash trees, it's also dark under their shade. It does, however, receive direct sunlight from the south.
Bang on schedule, I found a few specimens in bud:
|Lesser Celandine flower bud|
If the usual pattern is followed, these winter buds will never open, but will die off still in a closed state. I have no idea why a spring plant should produce flowers in the dead of winter, but it only happens (as far as I know) in this precise location, and it has happened for at least the last five years.