Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Caryophyllales - Family: Caryophyllaceae
Maiden Pink is a perennial herb and forms rather loose clumps up to 45cm in height. The deep pink (occasionally white) flowers are 1.5 to 2.5cm across and have toothed edges; there are usually white spots at the base of the petals. When the sun shines it is much easier to find Maiden Pink: on dull cloudy days the flowers close making it much more difficult to spot.
Maiden Pink is found throughout much of England and just extends its range into Scotland, but it is extremely localised which makes it a very satisfying discovery on any excursion. This species is native to much of Europe and parts of Asia; it has been introduced to many parts of North America. It is also a popular flower of cultivation and can often be seen in public parks and gardens as well as in many privately-owned gardens.
This plant grows on dry, calcareous grassland often with sandy soil. We have found these flowers in North Wales at Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve on the Anglesey.