Early spring is when some of our rarest and most beautiful wild flowers come out. Their season is brief, so catch them when you can.
Snakeshead Fritillary Fritillaria meleagris.
These can be seen in the Véron (the triangle of land west of Chinon, formed by the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne Rivers), the valley of the Aigronne River between Charnizay and Le Grand Pressigny, along the Claise between Le Grand Pressigny and Abilly and on the island in the Indre River at Pont de Ruan. All these sites are public access or the flowers are easily visible from the roadside.
Pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris.
These can be seen on the Puy Besnard, a nature reserve near Chinon.
Wild Tulip Tulipa sylvestris.
These can be found in certain vineyards in Vouvray (all private access, so seek permission from the landowner). Chateau Gaudrelle and Domaine Huet would no doubt be happy to let you see the tulips on their land. Be sure to raise a glass of their fine Vouvray wine in honour of their admirable custodianship of the tulips.
For more about the wild flowers of the Touraine Loire Valley go to our other blog Loire Valley Nature.