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River Annan Wildlife


Plants on the River Annan

A wide variety of plants can be found along the banks of the river Annan and its neighbouring habitats.  These play an important role in providing a healthy ecosystem as well as holding the river bank together and reducing the chance of erosion.


To find out more about the plants found on the river annan click on a species name below or scroll down to browse the images:



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Sometimes known as the king cup due to its cup shapes flowers, marsh marigold is a marginal plant this plant is found in ponds, marshes ditches and slow moving parts of the river. It is part of the buttercup family of plants and is usually one of the first plants to appear in spring flowering between March and June.

This plant is usually found in the damp boggy areas of the river catchment. This perennial plant has declined over the years largely as a result of modern agricultural methods and the draining of wetlands. The ragged robin is rich in nectar and attracts pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. The plant gets its name from its pink/white star shaped and deeply cut petals which are usually in flower between May and July.

Common glasswort, also known as marsh samphire is found in the coastal areas of the catchment, usually in the tidal zone. This is a popular ‘wild food’ plant and is often eaten with fish. As the plant is regularly covered by sea water this gives it a salty taste while its succulent nature allows it to tolerate the harsh conditions of living on the coast.  If you are collecting sandwort for eating it is best to cut the stem cleanly without disturbing the roots, giving the plant chance to re-grow.

Yellow flag iris is a rhizomatous plant that can be found on the damp edges of ponds lochs and rivers in the lowland areas of the catchment between May and August. It is easily recognisable by its large size (up to 1.5metres in height), sword shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers. The plant gives off a sweet smell which is particularly attractive to bees and hoverflies.  The strong, reed like leaves were used in the Middle Ages to make repairs to thatch roofs.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

Common Glasswort (Salicornia europaea)​

Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)

River Annan Photos?


Have you taken any photos of the River Annan (scenic or wildlife)? If you would like to share them with us we would be happy to put them on our site.




Contact Us


Fisheries Office
Annandale Estates, St Ann's
Tel: 01576 470600

Mobile: 07710331079

Get your copy of the Fisherman's Guide to the River Annan




Marsh & Ragged
Glasswort & Yellow Flag

Ramsons (Allium ursinum)

Horsetail (Equisetum)​

Horsetail & Ramsons

​Horsetail is commonly found growing in damp areas on the river bank or around lochs and ponds. The plant is fairly easy to identify and the dark joints on the stem at regular intervals give an appearance similar to bamboo. The plant grows from an underground root system called a rhizome which can be up to 2 metres deep. The three species of horsetail in the UK are creeping horsetail, water horsetail and marsh horsetail. The two most likely found in the Annan catchment are creeping (most common) and water horsetail.

Ramsons, also known as wild garlic is a bulbous perennial herb that grows in the damp woodlands along the river bank and occasionally in open areas. Like many woodland plants, ramsons flower early to avoid being shaded out by deciduous trees. The early flowers attract a number of pollinating insects such as hoverflies and butterflies. Colonies of ramsons are often found carpeting damp woodland areas in early spring with white starry flowers and bright green leaves. Its most distinctive characteristic is the scent of garlic that fills the air when in full bloom.

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