Rare plant returns to Castlemorton Common

The rare plant, the Petty Whin (Genista anglica) has returned to Castlemorton Common after an absence of eight or more years.

The Petty Whin is a small, spiny shrub with bright yellow pea-like flowers.  It is related to gorse and broom but has a smaller, more delicate form, only growing to a maximum of 1 metre in height.

In 2012 the Petty Whin was last recorded on Castlemorton Common but no further sightings of the plant have been recorded in this location since then> At the time of these final records in 2012, Castlemorton Common was one of only two locations in Worcestershire where this plant was known to exist.

The acidic soils and damp grassland habitats of the Common provide the perfect conditions for this scarce shrub and the Malvern Hills Trust were keen to re-establish the lost Petty Whin population.

Working closely with Josh Styles from the North West Rare Plant Initiative, the Malvern Hills Trust have reintroduced the Petty Whin to the Common.  With valuable advice and support from the Plant Initiative, MHT's Conservation Officer Andy Pearce has been growing the plant at home over the last three years to establish a number of you Petty Whins that could be replanted on the Common.

The first 15 plants have now been planted and it is hoped that in the coming years, more plants will be grown and planted to re-establish this once lost Petty Whin population.