If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know I love to capture images of flowers and textures of stone, infused with Irish history and soul from bygone years.
This photo features lovely orange wildflowers known as Montbretia against the rock wall of a mausoleum at Kilmurry-Ibrickan Graveyard in County Clare.
This image appears as a two-page spread in my latest book, “Mystical Moods of Ireland: Magical Irish Countryside.”
These brightly colored blooms are found throughout Ireland, especially along country roads, leading one to think it’s native to the island.
Montbretia was introduced to the Irish countryside at some point in years past — it’s actually a hybrid of two South African species!
How did it travel thousands of miles to take root in Ireland? Long before customs and agricultural restrictions, wealthy landowners enjoyed populating their properties and gardens with exotic species from distant lands.
It was not uncommon for the Lords and Ladies to return from their international adventures with lots of seeds to color up their gardens and woodlands. Some of the foreign plants grew exceedingly well and spread.
Now, Montbretia is found all over the Irish countryside.